Nobody (1905 song)

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"Nobody" is a popular song with music by Bert Williams and lyrics by Alex Rogers, published in 1905.[2]

The song was first publicly performed in February 1906, in the Broadway production Abyssinia. The show, which included live camels, was premièred at the Majestic Theater and continued the string of hits for the vaudeville team of Williams and Walker. "Nobody," became Bert Williams' signature theme, and the song he is best remembered for today. It is a doleful and ironic composition, replete with his dry observational wit, and is perfectly complemented by Williams' intimate, half-spoken singing style.

Williams became so identified with the song that he was obliged to sing it in almost every appearance for the rest of his life. He considered its success both blessing and curse:

"Nobody" remained active in Columbia Records' sales catalogue into the 1930s, and the musicologist Tim Brooks estimates that it sold between 100,000 and 150,000 copies, a phenomenally high amount for the era.

Lyrics[3][edit]

When life seems full of clouds an' rain
and I am filled with naught but pain,
who soothes my thumpin' bumpin' brain ?
Nobody
When winter comes with snow an' sleet,
and me with hunger and cold feet,
who says " Ah, here's two bits, go an' eat!"
Nobody
I ain't never done nothin' to nobody,
I ain't never got nothin' from nobody, no time!
And until I get somethin' from somebody, sometime,
I don't intend to do nothin' for nobody, no time!
When I try hard an' scheme an' plan,
to look as good as I can,
who says " Ah, look at that handsome man!"
Nobody
When all day long things go amiss,
and I go home to find some bliss,
who hands to me a glowin' kiss?
Nobody
I ain't never done nothin' to nobody,
I ain't never got nothin' from nobody, no time!
And until I get somethin' from somebody, sometime,
I don't intend to do nothin' for nobody, no time!
Nobody, no time!

Recorded versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nobody - Lyrics". Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Magee, Jeffery; Man, Jonah (Autumn 1998). "A Tribute to Bert Williams". American Music (University of Illinois Press) 16 (3): 349–351. doi:10.2307/3052642. JSTOR 3052642. 
  3. ^ "Nobody - Lyrics". Retrieved May 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] 1905 Library of Congress recording of Arthur Collins singing "Nobody."