The lyrics salute the nightlife of Broadway and its denizens, who "don't sleep tight until the dawn."
The song was introduced by Wini Shaw in the musical film, Gold Diggers of 1935,and, in an unusual move, it was used as background music in a sequence in the Bette Davis film Special Agent that same year. It won the 1936 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra version was popular at the time of release. Also in 1936, it served as part of the background music of the Merrie Melodies cartoon Page Miss Glory, also based on a Dubin-Warren song. The song was also recorded by The Andrews Sisters.
Ella Fitzgerald recorded this song on her Verve release Ella Fitzgerald Sings Sweet Songs for Swingers, accompanied by the Frank DeVol Orchestra.
Come on along and listen to The lullaby of Broadway The hip hooray and ballyhoo The lullaby of Broadway The rumble of a subway train The rattle of the taxis The daffodils who entertain At Angelo's and Maxi's
When a Broadway baby says good night It's early in the morning Manhattan babies don't sleep tight Until the dawn
Good night, baby Good night, the milkman's on his way Sleep tight, baby Sleep tight, let's call it a day Hey!
The band begins to go to town And everyone goes crazy You rock-a-bye your baby round 'Til everything gets hazy Hush-a-bye, I'll buy you this and that You hear a daddy saying And baby goes home to her flat To sleep all day
Good night, baby Good night, the milkman's on his way Sleep tight, baby Sleep tight, let's call it a day