And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat

Let’s see if we can get this straight. Written by Neil Simon and based on the Fellini film, “Nights of Cabiria,” it’s the musical that brought us “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now”. As a Broadway production (garnering 12 Tony nominations in 1966) it was choreographed and directed by Bob Fosse and it was a huge hit in the West End of London.

But when “Sweet Charity” was brought to the screen in 1969 (again with Fosse directing) it nearly sank Universal Pictures.  While the film cost $20 million to make, the box office only returned $4 million.

Be that as it may, the film had a great cast, with Shirley MacLaine, Chita Rivera, Stubby Kaye, Ricardo (“Corinthian leather”) Montalban, Ben Vereen and … Sammy Davis Jr. as Big Daddy Brubeck, “pastor” of The Rhythm of Life Church, coming to you from “down belooooow” the Manhattan Bridge.   Guess you could consider it a little hit within a big miss.

LISTEN TO THIS SELECTION – Sunday 27 January

The Rhythm of Life

Daddy started out in San Francisco,

Tootin’ on his trumpet loud and mean.

Suddenly a voice said, “Go forth, Daddy.

Spread the picture on a wider screen.”

And the voice said, “Daddy, there’s a million pigeons

Ready to be hooked on new religions.

Hit the road, Daddy. Leave your common-law wife.

Spread the religion of the rhythm of life.”

And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,

Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,

Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street,

Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.

To feel the rhythm of life,

To feel the powerful beat,

To feel the tingle in your fingers,

To feel the tingle in your feet.

Daddy spread the gospel in Milwaukee,

Took his walkie-talkie to Rocky Ridge,

Blew his way to Canton, then to Scranton,

Till he landed under the Manhattan Bridge.

Daddy was the new sensation, got himself a congregation,

Built up quite an operation down below.

With the pie-eyed piper blowing, while the muscatel was flowing,

All the cats were go, go, going down below.

Daddy was the new sensation, got himself a congregation,

Built up quite an operation down below.

With the pie-eyed piper blowing, while the muscatel was flowing,

All the cats were go, go, going down below.

 Flip your wings and fly to Daddy,

Flip your wings and fly to Daddy,

Flip your wings and fly to Daddy,

Fly, fly, fly to Daddy.

Take a dive and swim to Daddy,

Take a dive and swim to Daddy,

Take a dive and swim to Daddy,

Swim, swim, swim to Daddy.

Hit the floor and crawl to Daddy,

Hit the floor and crawl to Daddy,

Hit the floor and crawl to Daddy,

Crawl, crawl, crawl to Daddy.

 And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,

Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,

Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street,

Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.

 To feel the rhythm of life,

To feel the powerful beat,

To feel the tingle in your fingers,

To feel the tingle in your feet.

 To feel the rhythm of life,

To feel the powerful beat,

To feel the tingle in your fingers,

To feel the tingle in your feet.

Flip your wings and fly to Daddy,

Take a dive and swim to Daddy,

Hit the floor and crawl to Daddy,

Daddy we got the rhythm of life,

Of life, of life, of life.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Man!

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