Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)

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"Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)" is a show tune composed by Irving Berlin for the 1946 Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun.[1] The song is a duet, with one male singer and one female singer attempting to outdo each other in increasingly complex tasks.

In the musical, the song sets the scene for the climactic sharpshooting contest between Annie Oakley and Frank Butler.[2] Its most memorable lines are, "Anything you can do, I can do better; I can do anything better than you." The song was first performed in Annie Get Your Gun by Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton.[3]

During the song, they argue playfully about who can, for example, sing softer, sing higher, sing sweeter, and hold a note for longer, and boast of their abilities and accomplishments, such as opening safes and living on bread and cheese, although Annie almost always seems to counter Frank's argument. Neither can "bake a pie," though.[4]

Notable versions[edit]

Other recorded versions[edit]



  1. ^ Annie Get Your Gun listing at Internet Broadway Database, accessed November 15, 2008
  2. ^ Mordden, Ethan (August 8, 2013). Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-19-931357-0.
  3. ^ Flinn, Caryl (2007). Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman. University of California Press. p. 455. ISBN 978-0-520-22942-6.
  4. ^ Lyrics (Songbook): Complete Lyrics for Over 1000 Songs from Broadway to Rock. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. February 1, 2006. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4584-6657-0.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  7. ^ entry on episode S1E11[permanent dead link] of That's Life
  8. ^ "DOES MIKE LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAMM? MJ, MIA IN GATORADE SPOT". Sports Business Journal. March 26, 1999. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  9. ^ Jere Longman (June 11, 1999). "SOCCER; Show Time for Reluctant Soccer Superstar". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  10. ^ Michael Hirsley (May 16, 1999). "WOMEN ATHLETES MAKE THEIR PITCH TO CLOSE SPORTS ADVERTISING GAP". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Anything You Can Do (feat. Jeremy Jordan)". YouTube.
  12. ^ Schechter, Scott (August 25, 2006). Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-4616-3555-0.
  13. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris and Former Tony Host Hugh Jackman Face Off". Playbill. June 13, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2017.