fbpx
Home » blog » Cole Porter: “Anything Goes”
Musical Theater

Cole Porter: “Anything Goes”

This is from a 1934 Broadway show of the same name. It is old — very old — but brilliant. The contemporary references certainly are lost on most of us. But I can’t think of a more effective song in commenting on the passage of time, the changes in mores and the transition of a culture — all done with a light touch and great humor.

The two-word phrase “anything goes” nails what Cole Porter wants to portray about the era. For my money, Anything Goes is one of the best lyrics ever. Consider these two verses, adjusting of course for when the song was written:

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.

Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.

Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) — here sung by Alanis Morissette — is another example of the tremendously sophisticated lyrics of Cole Porter. It’s one long and clever double entendre.  The list of great singers who have sung Porter songs essentially is endless.

A tremendous amount of information about Porter, who was born in Indiana in 1891, is available at Cole Porter Online.

About the author

admin

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Sign Up for TDMB Daily Email Blasts

TDMB offers daily one-video email blasts. A different genre each day of the week. They are quick hits: Just great music and a bit of context.

Sign up below or, for more info, click here.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵

The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.