Bertolt Brecht Sings “Mack the Knife” in a 1929 Recording

brecht sings

Since 2008, a record­ing has been mak­ing the rounds on YouTube of Bertolt Brecht singing ‘Die Mori­tat von Mack­ie Mess­er,’ or what’s more com­mon­ly known as “Mack the Knife” in Eng­lish, a song Kurt Weill and Brecht com­posed for The Three­pen­ny Opera, which pre­miered in Berlin in 1928. The Brecht record­ing dates back to 1929, and, accord­ing to Discogs, it was released in 1960 on a 7‑inch Ger­man album called Bertolt Brecht Singt. Below, you can hear Brecht make his way through the tune. The clip comes accom­pa­nied by a quirky, new ani­mat­ed video cre­at­ed by the stu­dio Qual­i­ty Schnal­li­ty, Inc.

“Mack the Knife” has, of course, been cov­ered by count­less artists over the years. Bob­by Darin sang per­haps the most famous, swing­ing ver­sion in 1958. There are also clas­sic ver­sions by Louis Arm­strong, Frank Sina­tra, and Ella Fitzger­ald, not to men­tion more con­tem­po­rary ones by Lyle Lovett, The Psy­che­del­ic Furs, The Young Gods, Nick Cave, and Mar­i­anne Faith­full. Did we miss one of your favorites?

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via WFMU

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Clean­est Record­ings of 1920s Louis Arm­strong Songs You’ll Ever Hear

Bertolt Brecht Tes­ti­fies Before the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee (1947)

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