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Old 01-08-2003, 07:52 AM
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Lyrics to Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer"

The Scott Joplin rag, "The Entertainer," has lyrics, and I can't remember or find them. I have no idea if they were part of the original composition, or were added after the fact, but I sang this song in a boys choir about thirty years ago, and Rowlf sang it (with the same words) on an episode of The Muppet Show.

Anybody know them?
Old 01-08-2003, 09:01 AM
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I could not find any lyrics online and I doubt they were part of the original composition. Most likely added later. In any case you might email Perfessor Bill.
Old 01-08-2003, 10:18 AM
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When I was a kid we sang the following, but it's just doggerel (pretty stupid doggerel, too), and I don't know where we got it from:

La la la la la la la la
Hey Mr. Joplin, we're singing your song.
La la la la la la la la
And we're happy to say it's going strong.
La la la la la la la la
The Entertainer's so old it sounds new...

And I'm afraid I forget the rest.
Old 01-08-2003, 10:18 AM
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Well, you might want to try downloading "Ragtime Jukebox" (it's a free program) from http://beechbrook.com/pte/. There are 50, IIRC, Joplin songs on that. It's a pretty cool program (actually slideshow).
Old 01-08-2003, 10:30 AM
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I saw the lyrics once in a book of sheet music, and also got the impression they were added later, by someone other than Joplin.

This is all I remember:

Now the curtain is going up
The entertainer is taking a bow
Does his (dance step?) and sings his song
Even gets the audience to sing along
...
Old 01-08-2003, 11:12 AM
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Per sailor IIRC "The Entertainer" did not originally have lyrics. Any lyrics are after the fact add ons. I have heard it with lyrics and I think there are several versions of lyrics for it.

The popular version heard during the 70's was from

rec.music.ragtime

Quote:
THE ENTERTAINER
(A Rag Time Two-Step)
Music by SCOTT JOPLIN
Words by JOHN BRIMHALL

The book:

Source:
"SCOTT JOPLIN; Arranged for Easy Piano by JOHN BRIMHALL"
Publisher:
Charles Hansen Music & Books, Inc.
1860 Broadway / New York, N.Y. 10023
Copyright:
Copyright (C)1974 by California Music Press, Inc., New York, N.Y.
International Copyright Secured - Made in U.S.A. - All rights reserved
Old 01-08-2003, 02:30 PM
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I have a collection of ragtime sheet music at home. I know original Entertainer is in there, I believe it has the version with the lyrics as well. If nobody else can come up with the lyrics, I should be able to email any interested parties. Can't post them here verbatim, you know.
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Old 01-08-2003, 02:50 PM
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When Marvin Hamlisch arranged "The Entertainer" for the movie, "The Sting," he (or his lyricist) added lyrics and called the song, "If They Only Could See Me Now."

I know this because I have "The Sting" Songbook sheet music.

Hope this helps.
Old 01-08-2003, 05:42 PM
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Here's what I remember:

Hello ladies and gentlemen.
..........
........
...........
and when we all get together
there's no doubt as to whether
we can sing up a hullabaloooo.


where each dot is a beat I don't remember the words to.

...Or maybe my third grade music teacher just made that all up for some nefarious purpose.
Old 07-17-2011, 08:31 PM
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Here are the lyrics that I learned in grade school:

Now the curtain is going up
The entertainer is taking a bow
Does his dance step and sings his song
Even get all the audience to sing along
Yes he knows what he just must do
Knows how to bring down the house when he's through

Last edited by Marley23; 07-18-2011 at 12:32 AM. Reason: shortened song lyrics
Old 07-17-2011, 08:39 PM
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It was Milton Berle who sang it with Rowlf on The Muppet Show.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 07-17-2011 at 08:39 PM.
Old 07-17-2011, 09:20 PM
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Moving to Cafe Society from GQ.

Please note that this thread is more than seven years old.

Colibri
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:46 PM
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More Lyrics

I remember a bit more... (I was very young when I learned this, about 35 years ago so please forgive any errors)

Now the curtain is going up
The entertainer is taking a bow
Does his dance step and sings his song
Even get all the audience to sing along
Yes he knows just what he must do
Knows how to bring down the house when he's through
Snappy patter and jokes
He knows what pleases the folks
The entertainer the star of the show.

It was in Vaudeville
And he was on the bill
With all the singers, dancers, acrobats and clowns
There was a dog act there
Even a dancing bear
And a comedian who never lets you down
But when he came on
To sing his favourite song
He really wowed them in the cities and the towns
They came from near and far
To see the Vaudeville star
The entertainer.

I hope this helps!

Regards,

Adam

Last edited by adamburr; 10-24-2011 at 06:48 PM.
Old 10-24-2011, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Moving to Cafe Society from GQ.

Please note that this thread is more than seven years old.
Pish-posh. Ragtime is over a hundred.
Old 10-24-2011, 09:04 PM
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..when I hit the stage, the crowd goes into a rage...

Also - ...they'd be so proud of me in my hometown...

That's what I remember; I had the sheet music as well.

UT

Last edited by UntouchedTakeaway; 10-24-2011 at 09:06 PM.
Old 08-08-2013, 12:50 PM
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The original sheet music

Johns Hopkins' Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection has the original sheet music scanned as a PDF:

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog/levy:170.129

No lyrics exist on the original.
Old 08-08-2013, 01:11 PM
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Um...should I feel like a dick for not knowing that Scott Joplin was black?

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 08-08-2013 at 01:11 PM.
Old 08-08-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Um...should I feel like a dick for not knowing that Scott Joplin was black?
Only for thinking a white guy could have written such amazing music.
Old 08-08-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Um...should I feel like a dick for not knowing that Scott Joplin was black?
He was, but did you come to that conclusion after looking at the caricature on the sheet music front? I don't think that's a portrait.
Old 08-08-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
He was, but did you come to that conclusion after looking at the caricature on the sheet music front? I don't think that's a portrait.
No! I thought the caricature was rather crude...

I was looking to see why it's called a 'rag'..which led to reading about 'ragtime', which had a picture of Mr. Joplin.

And I said...wait. I want to remember exatly what I said. Ok. I think I remember:


"Bwwaaaaahhh??"

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 08-08-2013 at 02:00 PM.
Old 08-08-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
"Bwwaaaaahhh??"
Then this should be a revelation.
Old 08-08-2013, 02:54 PM
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These are the lyrics I learned in school -- apparently as recorded by Ray Conniff. If I ever see that music teacher again he's a dead man. Even when it was uber-over exposed after The Sting came out, it was a nice piece of music but 40 years later it's still marred in my mind by those inane, juvenile lyrics.

I can't get them out of my head; I don't want them there and someone should pay!
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