Straighten Up and Fly Right

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About Straighten Up and Fly Right

"Straighten Up and Fly Right" is a 1943 song written by Nat King Cole and Irving Mills and performed by The King Cole Trio. It was the trio's most popular single reaching number one on the Harlem Hit Parade for ten nonconsecutive weeks. The single also peaked at number nine on the pop charts. "Straighten Up and Fly Right" also reached number one for six nonconsecutive weeks on the Most Played Jukebox Hillbilly Records. The song was based on a black folk tale that Cole's father had used as a theme for one of his sermons. In the tale, a buzzard takes different animals for a joy ride. When he gets hungry, he throws them off on a dive and eats them for dinner. A monkey who had observed this trick goes for a ride; he wraps his tail around the buzzard's neck and gives the buzzard a big surprise by nearly choking him to death. The song was a part of the score of the 1943 film Here Comes Elmer. The song was used in the 1995 HBO historical war drama The Tuskegee Airmen and the title was quoted by the pilots when going into battle.  


Year:
1991
36 Views

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A buzzard took the monkey for a ride in the air
The monkey thought that ev'rything was on the square
The buzzard tried to throw the monkey off his back
But the monkey grabbed his neck and said, now, listen, Jack

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down papa, don't you blow your top

Ain't no use in divin', what's the use of jivin'
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down papa, don't you blow your top

The buzzard told the monkey, you're choking me
Release your hold and I'll set you free
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye and said
Your story's touching, but is sounds like a lie

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and stay right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down papa, don't you blow your top

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and stay right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down papa, don't you blow your top
Fly right

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Nat King Cole

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was a musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. He was one of the first black Americans to host a television variety show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death. more »

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Written by: Irving Mills, Nat King Cole

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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