Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)
"Anything You Can Do" is a song composed by Irving Berlin for the 1946 Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. 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. 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.
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 always seems to counter Frank's argument. Neither can "bake a pie," though.
- Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton from original cast recording (1946).
- Bing Crosby, Dick Haymes and The Andrews Sisters - recorded for Decca Records on March 19, 1947.
- Groucho Marx and his daughter Melinda Marx (a child at the time) in home movie footage used for select TV specials.
- Ethel Merman and Howard Keel (1950)
- Betty Hutton and Howard Keel in the 1950 film version of the musical
- Mary Martin and John Raitt on the 1957 National Tour recording
- Doris Day and Robert Goulet for the Columbia Records album Annie Get Your Gun (1963)
- Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell in the 1966 revival recording.
- Dusty Springfield and Freddie Paris on Bandstand (1967).
- Robert Morse and an office computer in 1968 TV series That's Life, episode S1E11 "Bobby's Pink Slip"
- Barbara Walters and Howard Cosell on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell in 1975 debating who interviews people better.
- Ethel Merman and Miss Piggy (1976) in The Muppet Show, episode 1.22
- In 1963, Heidi Brühl and Robert Trehy performed a German version in the stage version of this musical at the Theater des Westens in Berlin.
- In 1977, Tina Arena and John Bowles recorded a version for their album Tiny Tina and Little John.
- In 1990, Kidsongs released Ride the Roller Coaster, which contained a version of this song, where they play various arcade games at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park.
- Fran Drescher and Madeline Zima (1994) in The Nanny, episode S1E22 "I Don't Remember Mama"
- Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, Gatorade "Michael vs. Mia" commercial (1997), performed by Sophia Ramos
- Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat in the 1999 Broadway revival version of the musical
- Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in a 2007 Mercedes-Benz commercial with Mika Häkkinen performing the last line.
- Blaire Elbert and Madeline Powell Cactus Cuties Performed at Cactus Theatere in Texas in 2008.
- American rapper J. Cole used the "Anything you can do" line in his 2010 single "Who Dat".
- Lindsay Pearce sang a mashup of "Anything Goes"/"Anything You Can Do" in the Glee 2011 third-season premiere, "The Purple Piano Project".
- Dirty Rice sampled the opening lines of the song in the 116 Clique song "Envy" off the 2011 album Man Up by the 116 Clique.
- Julianne Hough and Derek Hough on their Move Live on Tour in 2014
- Dame Shirley Bassey performed this song with the group BLAKE on the 2016 TV Special titled, David Walliams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey
- Barbra Streisand and Melissa McCarthy perform the duet as part of Streisand's 2016 album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, with altered lyrics.
- Lusamine and Guzma MMD on a popular video on the website YouTube.
- AP-5 and Chopper on the Star Wars Rebels 2017 episode "Double Agent Droid."
- Darci Lynne Farmer and Terry Fator with their two puppets, Petunia and Winston on the finale of season 12 of America's Got Talent.
- Sophida and Jordan performed this song as a jazz dance on the ABC show Dancing With The Stars Teens for their mentor Gleb Savchenko
- Peter Tosh used the chorus “anything you can do, I can do better” for his song “The Toughest”
Other recorded versions
- Ethel Merman and Neilson Taylor (1973)
- Judy Garland and Howard Keel (Pre-Production of film Annie Get Your Gun)
- The Majors
- Von Trapp Children (song is on their Live in Concert DVD)
- Peter Tosh: "I'm the Toughest"
- Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman: Live performance, 2011 Tony Awards
- Annie Get Your Gun listing at Internet Broadway Database ibdb.com, accessed November 16, 2008
- Mordden, Ethan (8 August 2013). Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-19-931357-0.
- Flinn, Caryl (2007). Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman. University of California Press. p. 455. ISBN 978-0-520-22942-6.
- Lyrics (Songbook): Complete Lyrics for Over 1000 Songs from Broadway to Rock. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. 1 February 2006. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4584-6657-0.
- "allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- TV.com entry on episode S1E11 of That's Life
- Schechter, Scott (25 August 2006). Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-4616-3555-0.
- "Neil Patrick Harris and Former Tony Host Hugh Jackman Face Off". Playbill. Retrieved 17 May 2017.