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Ain't Misbehavin'
Fats Waller, the soul of Harlem Swing in the '30s, is evoked in this rollicking, finger-snapping revue. Not quite a biography, the inimitable original "Fats" is nonetheless a constant presence with the satiric, the sultry and sometimes the suggestive songs that he made so famous. Unforgettable.
Opened 1978 Ran for 1604 performances.          

Version:     Original Broadway (1978)      
Credits:     Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller

Lyrics by Various

Based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr.      
Type:     Revue      
Acts:     Two      
Rating:     PG      
Cast Size:     Small (2-10)      
Orchestra Size:     Small (1-11)      
Chorus Required:     No     
Dancing Required:     Yes, but minimal/optional     
Difficulty:     Easy to sing
Easy to learn      
Style:     Blues/Jazz/Gospel      
Category:     Comedy
Nostalgia
Period Piece      
Ideal For:     Cabarets
Low Budgets
Intimate Spaces
Community Theatres
Colleges
Religious Groups
Fund-Raising
Festivals      
Cast Size:     Small (2-10)     
     2 Men & 3 Women      
Casting Notes:     Ethnic Roles     
Characters:     No specific character names; actors use their own names     
Special Requirements:     A piano. The environment can be as elaborate as you want. Some companies like to keep things very casual, even providing beverages for the cast while they are on stage. You might consider serving food during the performances to make the audience feel at home or make some extra money. (But be sure that if you serve alcohol you have the proper licenses!)     

Ain't Misbehavin'
Music and Lyrics Mostly by Thomas "Fats" Waller


  1.Honeysuckle Rose
  2.(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue
  3.Fat & Greasy
  4.Mean To Me
  5.Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now
  6.The Joint Is Jumpin'
  7.Ain't Misbehavin'
  8.Cash for your Trash
  9.Find Out What They Like
 10.Handful Of Keys
 11.How Ya Baby
 12.I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)
 13.I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
 14.It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
 15.I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling
 16.I've Got My Fingers Crossed
 17.Spreadin' Rhythm Around
 18.Reefer Song
 19.Jitterbug Waltz
 20.Ladies Who Sing wtih the Band
 21.Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad
 22.Lounging at the Waldorf
 23.Viper's Drag
 24.Off-Time
 25.Squeeze Me
 26.'T Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do
 27.That Ain't Right
 28.When the Nylons Bloom Again
 29.Two Sleepy People
 30.Yacht Club Swing
 31.Your Feet's Too Big



       1.Honeysuckle Rose  
          Lyrics by Andy Razaf
          Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller

          Ev'ry honey bee fills with jealousy
          When they see you out with me.
          I don't blame them, goodness knows,
          Honeysuckle Rose.

          When you're passin' by flowers droop and sigh,
          And I know the reason why.
          You're much sweeter, goodness knows,
          Honeysuckle Rose.

          Don't buy sugar,
          You just have to touch my cup,
          You're my sugar,
          It's sweet when you stir it up.

          When I'm takin' sips from your tasty lips,
          Seems the honey fairly drips,
          You're confection, goodness knows,
          Honeysuckle Rose.


       2.(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue  
          Lyrics by Andy Razaf
          Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and Harry Brooks

          Cold, empty bed,
          Springs hard as lead,
          Pains in my head,
          Feel like old Ned.
          What did I do
          To be so black and blue?

          No joys for me,
          No company,
          Even the mouse
          Ran from my house,
          All my life through
          I've been so
          Black and blue.

          I'm so forlorn,
          Life's just a thorn,
          My heart is torn,
          Why was I born?
          What did I do to be so
          Black and blue?

          I'm white inside,
          But that don't help my case.
          'Cause I can't hide
          What is on my face,
          Oh!

          [Alternative lyrics
          for the last verse]
          I'm sad inside,
          But it don't help my case
          'Cause I can't hide
          All the sorrow
          That's on my face.


       3.Mean To Me  
          Music and Lyrics by Roy Turk and Fred E. Ahlert

          You're mean to me
          Why must you be mean to me?
          Gee, honey, it seems to me
          You love to see me cryin'
          I don't know why
          I stay home each night
          When you say you phone
          You don't and I'm left alone.
          Sing the blues and sighin'
          You treat me coldly each day in the year
          You always scold me
          Whenever somebody is near, dear
          I must be great fun to be mean to me
          You shouldn't, for can't you see
          What you mean to me


       4.Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now  
          Music and Lyrics by A.Razaf and T. "Fats" Waller

          Keepin' out of mischief now
          I really am in love and how
          I'm through playin' with fire
          It's you whom I desire

          All the world can plainly see
          You're the only one for me
          I have told them in advance
          They can't break up our romance
          Livin' up to all my vows
          'Cause I'm keepin' out mischief now

          Keepin' out of mischief now
          I really am in love and how
          I'm through playin' with fire
          It's you whom I desire

          All the world can plainly see
          You're the only one for me
          I have told them in advance
          They can't break up our romance
          Livin' up to all my vows
          'Cause I'm keepin' out mischief
          Oh, yeah!
          Keepin' out of mischief
          Oh, yeah!
          Keepin' out of mischief now!


       5.The Joint Is Jumpin'  
          Lyrics by Andy Razaf and J. C. Johnson
          Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller

          The joint is jumpin',
          It's really jumpin',
          Come in cats an' check your hats,
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          The piano's thumpin',
          The dancers bumpin'.
          This here spot is more than hot,
          In fact the joint is jumpin',

          Check your weapons at the door,
          Be sure to pay your quarter.
          Burn your leather on the floor,
          grab aybody's daughter.
          The roof is rockin',
          The neighbor's knockin'.
          We're all bums when the wagon comes.
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          Let it beat!

          The joint is jumpin',
          It's really jumpin',
          Ev'ry mose is on his toes,
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          No time for talkin',
          It's tim for walkin'
          (Yes!)
          Grab a jug an' cut the rug,
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          Get your pig feet, beer an' gin,
          There's plenty in the kitchen.
          Who is that that just came in?
          Just look at the way he's switchin'.
          Don't mind the hour,
          'Cause I'm in power.
          I got bail if we go to jail.
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          This joint is jumpin',
          It's really jumpin',
          We're all bums when the wagon comes.
          I mean this joint is jumpin'.
          Don't give your right name.
          No, no, no!


       6.Ain't Misbehavin'  
          Lyrics by Andy Razaf
          Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and Harry Brooks

          No one to talk with,
          All by myself,
          No one to walk with,
          But I'm happy on the shelf
          Ain't misbehavin',
          I'm savin' my love for you

          I know for certain,
          The one I love,
          I through with flirtin',
          It's just you I'm thinkin' of.
          Ain't misbehavin',
          I'm savin' my love for you
          Like Jack Horner in the corner
          Don't go no where,
          What do I care,
          Your kisses are worth waitin' for
          Be-lieve me
          I don't stay out late,
          Don't care to go,
          I'm home about eight,
          Just me and my radio
          Ain't misbehavin',
          I'm savin' my love for


       7.Handful Of Keys  
          Lyrics and Music by Fats Waller

          I like to tinkle on an old piana.
          I like to play it in a subtle mannah.
          I get a lot o' pleasure
          With a spano' keys
          Underneath my finger tips.
          Tricklin' off o' my lips.
          A handful o' keys
          And a song to sing,
          Now how could you ask for more?
          Than ticklin' the ivory,
          Singin' jive,
          I repeat what I said before.

          I like to sing a little tune that's mellah.
          I like to vocalize,
          There's nothin' swellah.
          I love to have a supple melody
          Just tricklin' off o' my lips.
          A handful o' keys
          And a song to sing,
          Now how could you ask for more?
          Than ticklin' the ivory,
          Singin' jive,
          I repeat what I said before.

          I like to tinkle on an old piana.
          I like to play it in a subtle mannah.
          I know I'll always be the top banana
          With a handful o' keys


       8.I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)  
          Music and Lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh

          I can't give you anything but love, baby
          That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby
          Dream a while scheme a while
          We're sure to find
          Happiness and I guess
          All those things you've always pined for
          Gee, I'd like to see you looking swell, baby
          Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby
          Till that lucky day
          You know darned well, baby
          I can't give you anything but love


       9.I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
          Lyrics by Joe Young
          Music by Fred E. Ahlert

          I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
          And make believe it came from you

          I'm gonna write words, oh, so sweet
          They're gonna knock me off my feet,
          A lotta kisses on the bottom,
          I'll be glad I got 'em

          I'm gonna smile and say:
          "Gee, I hope you're feeling better."
          And close "with love" the way you .
          I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
          And make believe it came,
          (Make believe)
          I'm gonna make believe it came from you.



      10.It's A Sin To Tell A Lie  
          Music and Lyrics by B. Mayhew

          Be sure it's true when you say
          "I love you"
          It's a sin to tell a lie
          Millions of hearts have been broken
          Just because these words were spoken

          I love you
          Yes I do
          I love you
          If you break my heart I'll die
          So be sure that it's true when you say
          "I love you"
          It'a sin to tell a lie


      11.Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad  
          Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad
          Lyrics by A. Santley
          Music by Fats Waller

          Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad
          From grievein' over you,
          Lookin' good to hide those bitter blues.

          Weary days and lonely nights
          I'm waiting here for you,
          Hopin' that my love you won't refuse.
          Roh doh doh doh doh doh doh
          Roh doh doh doh doh
          Roh doh doh doh doh doh doh
          Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah

          When I'm feelin' blue
          And needin' you.


      12.'T Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do  
          Music and Lyrics by P. Graninger and E. Robbins)

          There ain't nothin' I can do
          Or nothing I can say
          That folks don't criticize me
          But I'm gonna do what I want to anyway
          And I don't care just what people say
          If I should take a notion to jump into the ocean
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          If I go to church on Sunday then cabaret all day Monday
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          If my man ain't got no money and I say take all mine honey
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          If I give him my last nickel and it leaves me in a pickle
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          I'd rather my man would hit me
          Than for him to jump up and quit me
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          I swear I won't call no coppa if I'm beat up by my poppa
          'T ain't nobody's bizness if I do
          Nobody's bizness, ain't nobody's bizness
          Nobody's bizness if I do


YOUR FEETS TOO BIG
              (Bensen - Fisher -The Four Inkspots)

              Fats Waller Version of Lyrics:

              Who's that walkin' round here, Mercy
              Sounds like baby patter, baby elephant patter thats what I calls it
              Say up in Harlem at a table for two
              There were four of us,
              me, your big feet and you
              From your ankles up, I'd say you sure look sweet
              From there down there's just too much feet
              Yes, your feets too big
              Don't want ya, cause ya feets too big
              Can't use ya, cause ya feets too big
              I really hate ya, cause ya feets too big
              "Do wahs etc"
              Where did ya get em
              Your girl she likes you, she thinks you're nice
              Got what it takes to be in paradise
              She likes your face
              She likes your (???)
              Man oh man those things are too big
              Your feets too big
              Don't want cha, cause ya feets too big
              Mad at you, cause your feets too big
              I hate you, cause your feets too big
              ----my goodness (words missing) ----shiff shiff shiff
              Oh your (peddelick ???) extremities are colossal
              To me you look just like a fossil
              Got me walkin', talkin' and squarkin''
              Cause your feets too big
              Yeah, Come on and walk that thing
              Oh I've never heard of such walkin', Mercy
              Your (???) extremities really are obnoxious
              one never knows do one

              Chubby Checker version of Lyrics

              Who's that walkin' round here, Mercy
              Say at a diner at a table for two
              There are four of us,
              me, your big feet and you
              From your ankles up,  you sure look sweet
              From there down there's just too much feet
              Yeah, your feets too big
              Don't want ya, cause ya feets too big
              Can't use ya, cause ya feets too big
              I really hate ya, cause ya feets too big
              Yeah, let's hear it now
              Where did ya get em
              Your baby she likes you, she thinks you're nice
              Got what it takes to be in, ar paradise
              She likes your face
              She likes your (???)
              Man oh man them things are too big
              Oh your feets too big
              Can't Twist, cause ya feets too big
              Can't Shake it, cause your feets too big
              You just don't make it, cause your feets too big
              Come on walk that thing
              Never heard such walkin' Mercy
              Where'd ya get em
              Oh your (???) extremities are colossal
              To me you look just like a fossil
              You've got me walkin', talkin' and squarkin''
              Your feets too big, too big, too large
              Yeah, your feets too big
              Don't want cha, cause your feets too big
              I can't stand ya, cause your feets too big
              I'm mad at cha, cause ya feets too big
              Hey,
              Where'd ya get em
              Your (???) extremities really are obnoxious
              one never knows do one