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Joe Offer Origins: Was Blue Moon a hymn? (12) ADDPOP: Manhattan Melodrama (Rodgers & Hart) 12 May 19


MANHATTAN MELODRAMA
(Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)

VERSE
All New York's a stage
And all its men and women are very bad actors.
How they rant and rage
For food and drink and money,
For those are the factors.
Out of the Bronx and Yonkers
Rushing to earn a wage—
He must be strong who conquers
On the Manhattan stage.
REFRAIN
Act One:
You gulp your coffee and run;
Into the subway you crowd.
Don't breathe—it isn't allowed.
Act Two:
The boss is yelling at you;
You feel so frightened and cowed.
Don't breathe—it isn't allowed.

The rows of skyscrapers are like a canyon,
The sun is hidden 'neath a stony shroud,
Eight million people and not one companion:
Don't speak to anyone—it's not allowed.
Act Three:
You hate the sight of Broadway.
It's just that kind of a play— Manhattan Melodrama.

Notes: In its second life the "Prayer"/"Blue Moon" tune was given a new lyric and became the title song of the 1934 MGM film Manhattan Melodrama, which starred Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Leo Carillo, and was the movie that John Dillinger had been watching when he was gunned down outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago. "Manhattan Melodrama" was also known as "It's Just That Kind of a Play." It was registered for copyright as an unpublished work by Metro-GoidwynMayer, March 30, 1934, but was cut from the film before it was ready for release.

Source: The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart (Dorothy Hart & Robert Kimball, Da Capo Press, 1995, page 199)


I don't know anything about Leo Carillo, but there's a very nice beach near Malibu named Leo Carillo State Beach.


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