Mel Brooks: To Be Or Not To Be; The Hitler Rap (1984)

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Mel Brooks: To Be Or Not To Be; The Hitler Rap (1984)

Very few people -- and arguably only Jewish comedians? -- can get away with making fun of Hitler and the Nazis. Mel Brooks has been relentless in his ridicule which some find tasteless and others say is a necessary corrective.

Whichever way you cut it, it is dark humour which Brooks makes seem genuinely funny.

By way of comparison, is this as funny? (Actually, in a different way it is.)

Anyway, The Hitler Rap comes from Brooks' To Be Or Not To Be film and was co-written with English producer/musical everyman Pete Wingfield who was a one-hit wonder with his song 18 With a Bullet in '75 (which actually reached #18 on the Billboard charts).

Brooks has been pretty adept at musical parody (persist with the clip below from the film High Anxiety, about three minutes in he is in a nightclub and does a fine Sinatra take-off).

Make what you will of The Hitler Rap . . . and if you can't pick all the lyrics from this old single then here they are below.

For more weird Hitler stuff at From the Vaults which is full of oddities, one-offs and songs with an interesting backstory, see here

The Hitler Rap 

Well hi there people you know me I used to run a little joint called Germany.
I was number one the people's choice And everybody listened to my mighty voic
My name is Adolf I'm on the mike.
I'm gonna hip you to the story of the New Third Reich
It all began down in Munich town and pretty soon the word started gettin' around.
So I said to Martin Boorman I said Hey Marty, why don't we throw a little nazi part
We had an election well kinda sorta and before you knew it hello new order.
To all those mothers in the fatherland I said Achtung, Baby, I got me a pla
'Whatcha got Adolf? Whatcha gonna do?"
I said "how about this one,  World War Two?"
To be or not to be oh baby can't you see, we're gonna take it to the top.
You're making history and it feels so good to me ooh darlin' please don't ever stop.
Don't be stupid; be a smarty come on and join the nazi party -- party.
Like humpty dumpty offa that wall all the little countries they began to fall
Holland Belgium Denmark Poland -- the troops were rockin' and the tanks were rollin'
We were swingin' along with a song in our hearts. And "Deutschland uber alles" was making the charts
We had a new step called a goosestep we were dancing to.
Well it's sorta kinda like a German boogaloo
I was gettin' what I wanted but it wasn't enough. So I called the boys I said boys get tough
Now I surrounded myself with some unusual cat
There was skinny little Goebbles and Goering mister fat
And let's not forget ole Himmler and Hess. You'd better believe we made a hell of a mess Say Heil - Heil - siegety Heil
we gonna whip it on the people teutonic style
To be or not to be
oh baby can't you see
We're gonna make it to the top.
You are our destiny
This thing was meant to be why don't we do it till we drop?
Say you boots ain't black and shirt ain't brown?
Well get back Jack you can't get down.
Do it Adolf do it.
I drank wine from the Rhine with the finest ladies
And we did it in the back of my black Mercedes. I was on a roll I couldn't los
then came D-day the birth of the blues.
The Yanks and the Brits started raising cain Those guys were the pits I was goin' insane. People all around me started swallowing pills Let's face it folks we was going downhill. Berlin was crumbling we was under the gun
Time to look out for number one.
So I grabbed a blonde and a case of beer
Say the Russians are comin' lets get out of here.
To be or not to be
oh honey can't you see
We had to take it to the top.
You sure made history
And it felt so good to me
oh schatze Please don't ever stop.
Auf wiedersehn good to've seen ya
I got a one way ticket to Argentina.
To be or not to be
oh baby can't you see
We've got to take it to the top.
You're makin' history
And it feels so good to me
Why don't we do it till we drop?
We have ways of making you dance . . .
Sprechen Sie Argentinian ?

For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

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David Geary - Jan 25, 2011

It's funny. I remember it. Eminem for an older generation. Though Hitler seems an easy target these days. I recall a play about a survivor who says 'The days of the Jews' are numbered, I have it in writing," then rolls up their sleeve to show the number on their wrist. That sort of humour is what helps us all survive the horrors.

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