Broc 4L

Broccoli Fields Forever …

Moritat von Mackie Messer is a song written by Bertolt Brecht and composed by Kurt Weil for their play Die DreigrosohenoperDie Dreigrosohenoper premiered in Berlin in 1928. The opening song, Moritat von Mackie Messer, was originally sung by actor Kurt Gerron.

In 1954 Marc Blitzstein translated Die Dreigrosohenoper into English  (i.e. The Threepenny Opera) and the play enjoyed a six-year run Off-Broadway. It is Blitzstein’s translation that became the basis for the popularized American song, Mack the Knife.

In 1954, Louis Armstrong was the first musician to score a hit with Mack the Knife. Of course, Bobby Darrin’s Mack the Knife, recorded in 1959, set an unparalleled standard of excellence for the song. Another popular version of Mack the Knife is Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960 live version. After the first verse poor Ella forgot the rest of the song. Yet Ella’s amazing improvisation thereafter earned her a Grammy for the performance.

Die Dreigrosohenoper: Moritat von Mackie Messer

Kurt Gerron (1928):


Mack the Knife

Louis Armstrong (1954):


Bobby Darrin (1959):


Ella Fitzgerald (1960):


The Cover Songs Competition


Nick Cave vs. The Psychedelic Furs


Nick Cave (1995):

This is shortened version of Nick’s rendition that I included solely for the Caveman’s stellar choreography:

The Psychedelic Furs (1981):

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. ileneonwords says:

    I always loved this song; loved Bobby Darin singing it, too.

  2. bornunderabadsign says:

    my, my these interpretations due stretch one’s sensibilities…had to go with Nick and his sort funeral dirge rendition…the Furs version sounded like Ziggy Stardust sat in on the session…

  3. RDubbs says:

    This one’s not even close. Nick Cave, Nick Cave, Nick Cave!!! Who better than Nick Cave to cover a song that memorializes a child-killing rapist? Sorry Psych Furs, you were a great band with nothing to be ashamed of but this particular competition is simply out of your league.

  4. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Yes, this song is perfect for a creepy aborigine like Cave to smartly cover. I can’t help it, though… I love the Furs and their version, though it sounds almost identical to Susan Strange from their first album, gets my vote just because I like rockin’ glammy versions of song. But… the best version in the entire post is Ella. I love love love Ella (I have about 50 of her CDs, including this one)…and she’s just fantastic here, really beltin’ it out, growlin’ it out like Armstrong in the middle of the song. Classic.

  5. Pete Black says:

    Nick Cave had me early in the song but it seemed too long to me and stretched my tuba tolerance to the five yard line.

  6. […] Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weil: “Moritat von Mackie Messer” (subsequently “Mack th… ( […]

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