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  1. #1

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    I'm looking for a copy of the original piano score (with vocal) of I can't Get Started by Vernon Duke and Gershwin. I want to see the original verse (starts with "I'm a Glum One")

    I'd buy this if it was in it, but I suspect it's not:

    Any ideas? There's some sheet music on ebay but again, not sure if it has the verse.



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  3. #2

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    I have it in a fake book with the verse, if that would help.

    Danny W.

  4. #3
    yeah totally!

  5. #4

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    Not a score, but Sinatra's version should be pretty close to what was written, and it shouldn't be hard to transcribe the words.

  6. #5

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    It's in the Sher Standards Real Book with the verse, and in Hal Leonard Real Jazz Standards fakebook with the verse. Update this thread if you still need a copy.

  7. #6
    This version is closer to the original than the Sinatra version. I don't think there are any recordings of the original 1936 version with Bob Hope and Eve Arden.

  8. #7
    Someone sent me a copy from a fakebook here. Thanks!

    If anyone by any chance has a pdf of the original (old) piano score I'd love to see it. Otherwise I'm good.

  9. #8

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    This video linked below appears to have Peter Mintun singing and playing the original sheet.

    This blog post mentions the liberties that Bunny Berigan took with the lyric in his early hit version:
    “I Can’t Get Started” (1937) Bunny Berigan – Swing & Beyond

    This song has had many a "customized" version of the lyric, as most folks know. I'm a Sinatra fan, but I've always found his substitution of "Designed the latest IBM brain" for "Settled revolutions in Spain" to be particularly ham-handed. Sinatra of all singers should have grooved on the Hemingway vibe of fighting fascists in Spain.

    I was curious about the verse's final line, "Superman / Turns Out to Be Flash in the Pan"...I was wondering if this was a reference to the comic book characters Superman and The Flash. Turns out, neither existed in 1935-1936 when Ira Gershwin wrote that line. Wikipedia claims that the word "superman" was commonly used in the 1920s and 1930s to "describe men of great ability, most often athletes and politicians" (and not usually used in the sense of Friedrich Nietzsche's "Übermensch", or anything to do with master races, etc.).

    I didn't realize that the verse's final line is literally supposed to be a newspaper headline. Here's how it appears in Gershwin's book Lyrics on Several Occasions:

    All the papers, where I led the news
    With my capers, now with spread the news.
    "Superman Turns Out to Be Flash in the Pan"

  10. #9

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    The version recorded by Bunny Berrigan (early-mid 1930s) precedes the above recordings, I have that recording on a big band CD and I believe it is the original Gershwin version. Try youtube, if not maybe I can strip it and send it to you.

  11. #10
    I agree the lyrics are perfect and get better with time. I'm sure they weren't meant to evoke an era then but now they totally do.

    I bought a piano score on ebay if anyone is interested.

    I can't Get Started - Google Photos