Somebody was singing "springtime for hitler" from The Producers today, and it got me in the mood to listen to some of the music again. So here is, "When You Got It, Flaunt It." From The Producers. Music and Words by Mel Brooks.
This song happens when Ula is auditioning for the producers of the new broadway show "Springtime for Hitler." This show is being produced simply because the producers think they can make more money off of a flop on Broadway than off of a hit. So this is her audition... and it gets her the job. You'll see why after you read the rest of this blog. I'd love to be able to sing this for something.... if only I was a little slutty.... and busty....and could belt. *sigh* my chances of doing this one don't look good. But here ya go. Enjoy.
We start out with a really dramatic and elaborate rolled and arpeggiated chord. Ula comes in with a very simple melody that she sings with a terrible german/sweedish/ God only knows what accent. She is using this teeny, cutsie, squeeky character voice. She is singing accapella, but when she rests, her vocal line is echoed in the accompaniment. The tempo is a moderate swing, and she is slightly hesitant and reserved... which is funny because she sings, "Ven you got it, flaunt it. Step right up and strut your stuff. People tell you modesty's a virtue, but in the theatre modesty can hurt you. Ven you got it, flaunt it. Show your assets let them know your proud. Your goodies you must push, stick your chest out, shake your tusch, ven you got it, shout it outloud."
At this point, she starts this melodic motive over again, and she has begun to feel a lot more comfortable and brave about her audition. There is a change in the music. The tempo picks up to more of a cool swing, and there is now accompaniment being played underneath her. It isn't anything complicated, but it's fun and it really swings, as well as supports the vocal line. There is also an increase in dynamic at this point. I have to include the words again here because they are hysterical: "Ven you got it, show it. Put your hidden treasures on display. Violinists love to play an E-string, but audiences really love a G-sring. Ven you got it, shout it. Let the whole world here what you're about. Clothes may make the man, but all a girl needs is a tan. Ven you got it, let it hang out. As the verse goes on this whole time, the accompaniment keeps getting more interesting and more intricate. The chords are a lot more full, and the rhythm is a lot more complicated. There are triplets and syncopations everywhere. She has also begun to sing very boldly.
Next we have a HUGE contrast. The accompaniment stops moving around, and we have sustained block chords. The dynamic is taken way down, and the combination of instruments that are being used on top of the vocal quality that the singer uses really changes the whole mood to a very sweet feeling. So far she has been talking about G strings and shaking her tusch, and now she starts to sing a very stepwise melody with a straight eighth note rhythm in an angellic voice: "Ven I was just a little girl in Sveden my thoughtful mother gave me this advice: if nature blesses you from top to bottom, show that top to bottom don't think twice.
Now, This is my favorite part of the song: she says, "Now Ula Belt." And all the sudden she goes from this ditzy character voice to this huge unexpected belt, and she belts, "Don't think twice!" Which is also the modulation into the new key. As she holds "twice" out, the orchestra goes crazy and plays all these full chords with triplet rhythms... BAM BAM BAM BAM underneath her belt.... it is so exciting. When I saw this show, when she started belting like this, it was so unexpected that the audience just went nuts. So cool. I wanna be on Broadway. Anyway, continuing on...
Now we have a great cabaret/strip joint feel going on. It is a broad swing with all of these great drum beats. The trumpets and the brass section is going nuts wailing out their parts, and she just keeps right on belting. The sound right now is just huge...FF. I might as well include the lyrics here too: "Ven you got it, share it. Let the public feast upon your charms. People say that being prim is proper, but every show girl knows that prim will stop her." Then there is yet another modulation, and it gets even bigger. The accompaniment stays pretty much the same.... the orchestra is just wailing... and the belting is fabulous. She sings, "Ven you got it, give it. Don't be selfish give it all avay!" She holds "avay" out for a really long time, and then all the sudden the orchestra drops out, and she returns back to her cutsie character voice to sing, "don't be shy be bold and cute." The orcestra answers with these great drum beats... and they are really very stripper/cabaret like. Think almost along the lines of Chicago and Fosse. The orchestra rests again so she can sing, "Show the boys that birthday suit." Then the sexy drum beats happen again.
Then the orchestra picks back up and she begins to belt again. It's a samba like feel here... the horns and the drums really stand out the most to me. The lyrics are: "Ven you got it... if you got it....Once you got it.... shout out hooray!" The last note she belts is just awesome. It's not that hugh but it is really powerful. The orchestra plays strong until the end and it is a big finish.
Wow. I possibly got a little too excited while writing this. Just like every other blog I write... I will tell you to listen to the music from this show. Not because it is fabulous music, but because it is hysterical. Other fun songs include, Der guten tag hop clop, Keep It Gay, and Springtime For Hitler. This isn't your typical musical theatre guy has girl, guy loses girl, guy wins girl back plot. It's really inventive and a ton of fun. Check it out.