Happy Talk (song)

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"Happy Talk"
Songwriter(s)Oscar Hammerstein II
Composer(s)Richard Rodgers
From top: Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary singing "Happy Talk", Betta St. John as Liat, and William Tabbert as Lt. Cable in the original Broadway cast of South Pacific (1950).

"Happy Talk" is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. It is sung by Bloody Mary to the American lieutenant Joe Cable, about having a happy life, after he begins romancing her daughter Liat. Liat performs the song with hand gestures as Mary sings.

Ella Fitzgerald recorded this song with Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra for Decca and it was included on her album Miss Ella Fitzgerald & Mr Gordon Jenkins Invite You to Listen and Relax.

"Happy Talk" is occasionally cut from productions of South Pacific on the grounds that the song is racist, citing the fake pidgin in which it is written.[citation needed] It was omitted from the made-for-TV remake of South Pacific" in 2001.

Captain Sensible version[edit]

"Happy Talk"
Happy talk.JPG
Single by Captain Sensible
from the album Women and Captains First (1982)
Released26 June 1982 (1982-06-26)
Format7", 12
GenreSynthpop, new wave[1]
LabelUniversal Music Group
Songwriter(s)Richard Rodgers (music)
Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics)
Producer(s)Lou Adler
Captain Sensible singles chronology
"Jet Boy, Jet Girl"
"Happy Talk"

In July 1982, The Damned's guitarist Captain Sensible scored a No. 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks with his version of the song,[2] featuring backing vocals by the band Dolly Mixture.

Other cover versions[edit]


  • In 2004, UK grime MC Dizzee Rascal sampled Captain Sensible's version on the single "Dream", which reached No. 14 on the UK Singles Chart.[4]


  • A brief clip of the song, played on an organ, can be heard in The Wrong Trousers, in a sequence where Gromit is unable to sleep because of loud music.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Captain Sensible – Women & Captains First". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ Roberts, David. British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 410. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Автор: Claudine:Released (2008-07-06). "Claudine:Released: Claudine Longet "Love Is Blue" 1968 US Reel To Reel Tape (AMX 142)". Claudinereleased.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  4. ^ Roberts, David. British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 158. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]