"Leg of Mutton Rag" - José Ferrer & Helen Traubel ("Deep in My Heart")

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This rag-time number comes from the 1954 movie 'Deep in My Heart,' a bio-pic of Sigmund Romberg, the famed Broadway operetta composer, played by José Ferrer. Also in the cast was the great Wagnerian soprano Helen Traubel. Here they both let their hair down with a Tin Pan Alley hit from 1913 that helped to establish Romberg's song-writing career.

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jay kauffman
2022-10-15 22:33:55

Funny she loses the accent when she sings.

Esmee Phillips
2022-09-07 11:31:55

Definite whiff of early Irving Berlin here, though Romberg never kept up with the Maestro's evolution, 'Jazz' (var. 'jass') is here used only in its dance-step connotation, part of a litany of pre-WW1 capers such as the Bunny Hug and Balling the Jack. But Berlin never forgot ragtime, cakewalks etc and how they had made his name. He liked reeling off names of dances this song does, e.g. in 'The Yam' in 'Carefree' (1938).

Easy Aspi
2022-09-06 22:09:57

This is one great tune!

Junieliz Mitchell
2022-03-21 23:11:48

Omg I love José Ferrer, he was so talented.

Esmee Phillips
2021-04-15 16:46:22

Great heavens, Helen makes Ferrer almost endearing, with a hint of Mel Brooks, instead of his normal air of staring down at the world from the peak of Parnassus. La Traubel was the Ethel Merman of grand opera. What a pallid snob Rudolf Bing was to let her go.

ormond berrington
2021-04-04 11:43:12

This is a great, even fantastic performance by Helen Traubel and Jose Ferrer as well as the MGM orchestra with a wonderful orchestration. But....this is not "Leg of Mutton". Rather it is "Some Smoke", also written by Romberg. Looking at the original sheet music (which can be found in the Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins Libraries) neither piece of music had lyrics. I suspect what Traubel and Ferrer are singing is something put together just for the movie. And Some Smoke was a catchier tune than Leg of Mutton. Also you will hear that the lyrics they sing say "Leg of mutton dance" and not rag. The sheet music for both show them as a one step, two step and turkey trot. I think also the words "leg of mutton" rolls off the tongue a lot easier than "some smoke" and was more conducive to the made up lyrics.
You can hear "Leg of Mutton" here: loc.gov/item/jukebox-134177/ loc.gov/item/jukebox-134177/
and "Some Smoke" here: loc.gov/item/jukebox-134180/ loc.gov/item/jukebox-134180/

Mislav Hilc
2020-04-05 21:42:43

I tried transcribing it, there may be some mistakes as I couldn't make sense of some of the words:


You jazz to the left, then
You jazz to the right, then
You tickle your toe,
You tickle your toe.

And then you go in to a bunny hug,
Hold her tight as a bug in a rug.

And then you step on the tack,
Like you're a ballin' the jag,
With a grizzly bear in your stance,

And if you'd be my honeylamb!?
We can yammy yam!
The leg of Mutton, Dance!



There is a dance they do,
Way out in Kalamazoo.

It's a pip!
Lots of zip!

It is a breeze brew,
It's so easy you can learn to do it to!

You jazz to the left, then
You jazz to the right, then
You tickle your toe,
You tickle your toe.

And then you go in to a bunny hug,
Hold her tight as a bug in a rug.

And then you step on the tack,
Like you're a ballin' the jag,
With a grizzly bear in your stance,

And if you'd be my honeylamb!?
We can yammy yam!
The leg of Mutton, Dance!

[something in german]

Dooh! Dooh! Dooh! Dooh!
Dooh! Dooh! Dooh! Dooh!

Watch out your step in all a tack,
Come do me holy 'cause we ballin' the jag!

The leg of Mutton,
Oh! Comes out the Mutton,
The leg of Mutton, Dance!

Marie Marchesani
2020-02-21 20:09:58

This was New York City Music Hall Christmas show..l saw it there..it was beautiful..Jose and Miss Traubel were great!

Jef Olson
2019-06-17 20:10:58

a "great ol broad" in the best sense. She was fun. Part owner of the St. Louis Browns?

franzitaduz
2019-06-17 15:36:50

Helen had it ALL. Thanks for the upload!

Marie Marchesani
2019-03-08 00:33:00

Helen and Jose were great and made the movie. I watch it often..great voice!

Charles Russell
2017-08-07 04:24:03

What a great number!!!!!

Michael McKinley
2017-07-24 02:22:28

Helen Traubel was just a down-home girl from St. Louis, with an EPIC voice. She is having the TIME OF HER LIFE in this scene. Jose Ferrer, being the consummate actor, learned to play piano for this movie so they did not have to body double his hands while playing the piano.

Arkelk2010
2017-07-20 05:57:31

I admit that I don't watch many movies, but I've never seen Ferrer play a fun scene before. They both looked as if they were enjoying themselves.

Chris Drake
2017-06-11 03:32:22

If this scene doesn't cheer you up, you're incurably morose.  The rest of the movie (except for the songs) I can live without, but this scene is a splendid thing.  Ms. Traubel reminds me of my mother...loads of fun, great voice, lovely to look at.  Thanks for posting this.

hebneh
2017-05-19 02:28:48

I like that this ends with the "popularity montage" in which - in classic Hollywood tradition - we see a quick visual depiction of something (in this case, a song) becoming popular. The rest of the scene is delightful too.

Arkelk2010
2017-05-03 04:27:06

What a fun scene. I may have to watch the rest of the movie.

artistphx
2017-04-16 18:29:37

Friends ask me what the old movies have to offer that so make them attractive to me. This is a perfect example!

DES FITZGERALD
2016-10-03 21:24:52

WHY DO PEOPLE make a goddess out of this big fat lump of scheissen?

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