There's No Business Like Show Business

Rufus Smith, Bruce Yarnell, Jerry Orbach, Ethel Merman

About There's No Business Like Show Business

"There's No Business Like Show Business" is an Irving Berlin song, written for the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun and orchestrated by Ted Royal. The song, a slightly tongue-in-cheek salute to the glamour and excitement of a life in show business, is sung in the musical by members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in an attempt to persuade Annie Oakley to join the production. It is reprised three times in the musical. The song is also featured in the 1954 movie of the same name, where it is notably sung by Ethel Merman as the main musical number. The movie, directed by Walter Lang, is essentially a catalog of various Berlin's pieces, in the same way that Singin' in the Rain—which starred Donald O'Connor as well—was a collection of Arthur Freed songs. There was also a disco version of the song made during the 1970s, with Merman reprising her singing role in The Ethel Merman Disco Album. The song became one of Ethel Merman's standards and was often performed by her at concerts and on television. 


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When the midnight choo choo leaves for Alabam'
I'll be right there, I've got my fair
When I see that rusty haired conductor man
I'll grab him by the collar and I'll holler "Alabam'! Alabam'!"

That's where you stop your train, that brings me back again 
Down home where I'll remain, where my honey lamb am 
I will be right there with bells, when that old conductor yells
"All aboard! All aboard! All aboard for Alabam!"

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Ethel Merman

Ethel Merman (January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm", "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Some People", "Rose's Turn", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "It's De-Lovely", "Friendship", "You're the Top", "Anything Goes", and "There's No Business Like Show Business", which later became her theme song. more »

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Written by: Irving Berlin


Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

12 facts about this song

Song Origins
"There's No Business Like Show Business" is a popular song, originating from the 1946 musical "Annie Get Your Gun." The music and lyrics were written by revered American songwriter Irving Berlin.
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. His music forms a significant part of the Great American Songbook.
Role of Ethel Merman
In the original Broadway production of "Annie Get Your Gun", the song was introduced by Ethel Merman who played the role of Annie Oakley. Merman was known as the "First Lady of the musical comedy stage".
Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby recorded this song with The Andrews Sisters on December 27, 1949. Crosby was one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation.
Frank Sinatra
The Sinatra version of this song was part of the album "Ring-a-Ding-Ding!" which was the first album he released on his own record label, Reprise Records, in 1961.
Dick Haymes
Dick Haymes recorded his version of "There's No Business Like Show Business" for his album "Rain or Shine" in 1960. Haymes was a popular singer and actor from Argentina, known for his baritone voice.
Judy Garland
Judy Garland, an iconic American actress and singer, recorded this song for the film "I Could Go On Singing" in 1963. This was Garland's final film role.
Mary Hopkin
The Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin recorded a version of the song in 1972 for her album "Live at the Royal Festival Hall". She was one of the earliest artists to sign to The Beatles' Apple label.
The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group, who teamed up with Bing Crosby for a version of this song. The trio consisted of sisters LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty Andrews.
Cultural Impact
Over the years, “There's No Business Like Show Business” has become a standard, recorded by many artists, and is often used as an anthem for the entertainment industry.
Academy Award-Nominated Film
The song also served as the title for a 1954 movie musical, which was nominated for three Academy Awards. Ethel Merman reprised her performance for the film.
Song’s Lyrics
The lyrics of the song, highlighting the hardships and rewards of a life in the entertainment industry, has resonated with many performers making it an enduring classic in the world of show business.

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