Anything You Can Do (song)
"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 Howard Keel (1950)
- Barbra Streisand and Melissa McCarthy perform the duet as part of Streisand's 2016 album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, with altered lyrics.
- Betty Hutton and Howard Keel in the 1950 film version of the musical
- Doris Day and Robert Goulet (1963)
- Mary Martin and John Raitt on the National Tour recording
- 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"
- Ethel Merman and Miss Piggy (1976) in The Muppet Show, episode 1.22
- 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.
- 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.
- American rapper J. Cole used the "Anything you can do" line in his single "Who Dat".
- Blaire Elbert and Madeline Powell Cactus Cuties Performed at Cactus Theatere in Texas.
- Julianne Hough and Derek Hough on their Move Live on Tour
- Barbara Walters and Howard Cosell on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell in 1975 debating who interviews people better.
- Lindsay Pearce sang a mashup of "Anything Goes"/"Anything You Can Do" in the Glee third season premiere, "The Purple Piano Project".
- Dame Shirley Bassey performed this song with the group BLAKE on the 2016 TV Special titled, David Williams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey
- 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.
Other recorded versions
- Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney (from "Carousel")
- Bing Crosby and Dick Haymes with The Andrews Sisters (1947)
- Mary Martin and John Raitt (1957)
- Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell (1966)
- 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"
- 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.
- Corp., Hal Leonard (1 February 2006). Lyrics (Songbook): Complete Lyrics for Over 1000 Songs from Broadway to Rock. Hal Leonard. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4584-6657-0.
- 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.