Hello! This page will serve as a very, very simple archive of all the lyrics to old jazz and music hall songs that don't seem to have lyrics available on the Internet, or at least have very few sources, which I don't trust will stay on the Internet for long enough. Also, I just like to transcribe songs!


SONG: THAT'S MY WEAKNESS NOW, BY WHISPERING JACK SMITH, 1928

Suffice to say that Jack Smith is one of my favourite singers, if you haven't figured it out by now! This song is a comedic number all about falling for a girl with expensive tastes, and having all your money go to waste as a result of it.


SONG: ENCORE, BY WHISPERING JACK SMITH, 1929

I love just about every song that Whispering Jack Smith has covered, but this song stands out as a particular favourite. I couldn't find any record of the lyrics to this song on-line, so I had to transcribe it by ear. Jack Smith has this very low, deep crooning baritone that, when listened to, feels like he's singing directly to the listener. The song's lyrics are very saccharine indeed, but nicely so, and there's something very sincere about this song. To me, it feels very heartfelt and vulnerable, I certainly can't imagine singing this to anyone I know!


SONG: I WONDER WHERE MY BABY IS TONIGHT, BY HENRY BURR AND BILLY MURRAY, 1925

There's many covers of this jazz song, but it seems as though only this one has the speaking portion heard in the beginning of the recording. It makes for this really fun, almost conversational kind of back-and-forth jovial atmosphere, even if the song is about pining for a long-gone lover. For some reason, three characters are introduced in the beginning, (the miserable Harry and his 'boys') despite it being recorded by only two singers. I particularly enjoy how the distinctive two-chord bit of the Charleston makes its way into the song when they sing about the dance, it's a really nice touch! The harmonies are very nice too. There's honestly not a lot else to say about this song, I just wanted to save its unique lyrics somewhere.


SONG: UNDERNEATH THE COTTON MOON, SUNG BY ADA JONES AND BILLY MURRAY, 1913

Oh my god. This is by far the most awful song I think I've transcribed, purely based on its lyrics. This would not be very acceptable in today's society, but it's important to preserve stuff like this as a way to see how far we've come. I couldn't find the lyrics anywhere other than in a scanned copy of some old sheet music (which I found on sheetmusicsinger.com), so it's safe to say that this is a REALLY obscure song, though it seems to have been quite popular at the time it was released, because there are various recordings of it on shellac 78s.

Thematically, if one puts aside the incredibly dated language, the song does have a sweet sentiment about recalling one's happy childhood, and wishing to return to it. I am not from the USA, but I can see how this would've been a nostalgic scene to many Southern USA citizens, recalling the sounds of birdsong and banjos...if I were to re-write the lyrics for a modern audience, I am sure it would still carry that innocent theme. The melody is very nice too, with a mid-tempo "bom-ditty" rhythm (I'm not fluent in musical terms) which is pretty damn catchy. I find myself humming it from time to time, so long as I don't sing the lyrics out loud!


SONG: MAMA GOES WHERE PAPA GOES (OR PAPA DON'T GO OUT TONIGHT), BY JANE GREEN, 1923

Jane Green was one of the first old jazz artists I properly started listening to, back in autumn of 2021. Although her song "Hard-to-get Gertie" was the first tune of hers I dug, this song in particular stands out quite a lot to me, as it has a very strange mix of traditional and progressive views on the contemporary woman of the jazz age. It's quite easy to imagine a song being released today with similar themes to this one!


SONG: I'M LOOKING FOR A SWEEHEART (AND I THINK YOU'LL DO), BY ADA JONES AND BILLY MURRAY, 1909/1910?

This is quite an old song, dating all the way back to before the First World War!! Ada Jones and Billy Murray recorded quite a lot of songs together as a duo, most of which seem to follow themes of a back-n-forth conversation between two lovers, which is really sweet to listen to. I think people are more familiar with their song "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine", because it was featured in the film "Titanic", but this tune is very pretty nonetheless. There's actually quite a bit more of this song than the lyrics I wrote down, but alas, I forgor :-(


SONG: THAT'S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU, BY JACK TEAGARDEN AND FATS WALLER, 1931/1932?

I transcribed these lyrics by listening to the song. There were quite a few parts within the song where I straight up just couldn't decipher what they were saying, either because of their accents, or because of the dated recording quality (marked by the [??] sections). It's a very silly tune, with a very nice clarinet solo in the beginning, one of my favourite woodwind instruments!


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