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It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

Lyrics:Irving Mills
Music:Duke Ellington

The song was publishe 1931.

The music was written and arranged by Ellington in August 1931
during intermissions at Chicago's Lincoln Tavern
and was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records
(Br 6265) on February 2, 1932.
Ivie Anderson sang the vocal and trombonist Joe Nanton
and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges played the instrumental solos.
The title was based on the oft stated credo of Ellington's
former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis.
The song became famous, Ellington wrote,
"as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians
at the time.
" Probably the first song to use the phrase "swing" in the title,
it introduced the term into everyday language
and presaged the swing era by three years.
The Ellington band played the song continually over the years
and recorded it numerous times,
most often with trumpeter Ray Nance as vocalist.



It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah

Makes no difference
If it's cool or hot
Cause you just got to give that rhythm
Everything you've got

It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah

Well it makes no difference
If it's sweet or hot
Cause you just got to give that rhythm
Everything you've got
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah




Ella Fitzgerald(It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing))
Ella Fitzgerald


The Boswell Sisters(It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing))
The Boswell Sisters


Sarah Vaughan(It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing))
Sarah Vaughan


Anita O'Day(It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing))
Anita O'Day


June Christy(It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)) 
June Christy








Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington





The Boswell Sisters





Sarah Vaughan





Anita O'Day





June Christy





Eva Cassidy





Ray Nance and Taft Jordan




"When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone in the air.
You can never capture it again. "







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