I Want to Go Back to Michigan


I Want to Go Back to Michigan

I Want to Go Back to Michigan is a song by Irving Berlin composed in 1914. It was a moderate commercial success when it was first released and afterward became a staple on vaudeville. Its most famous performance was by Judy Garland in the film "Easter Parade".cite web|url=http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/vshtml/vssnde.html|title=The American Variety Stage, 1870 - 1920|publisher=Library of Congress|accessdate=2008-09-17]

Lyrics

The ballad's lyrics employ imagery of an idyllic rural childhood juxtaposed against less appealing city life, which was a theme among some popular songs during this period of rapid urban growth in the United States.cite book |accessdate=2008-09-17 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=3F6A-vmcBI0C&pg=PA108&dq=%22I+Want+to+go+back+to+Michigan%22+Irving+Berlin&lr=&ei=qsTQSLacMZXCigH3-JHnAw&sig=ACfU3U3w52_t3xmiyJYHw-e1jdVM9GtgoA#PPA107,M1|author=Timothy E. Scheurer|title=American Popular Music: Readings from the Popular Press|publisher=Popular Press|date=1989| pages=107-110]

:"You can keep your cabarets":"Where they turn nights into days.":"I'd rather be where they go to bed at nine.":"I've been gone for seven weeks":"And I've lost my rosy cheeks."cite web|url=http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/b/b05/b0598/b0598-2-72dpi.html|title="I Want to Go Back to Michigan" (sheet music) page 2|publisher=Watson Berlin & Snyder Co.|accessdate=2008-09-17] cite web|url=http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/b/b05/b0598/b0598-3-72dpi.html|title="I Want to Go Back to Michigan" (sheet music) page 3|publisher=Watson Berlin & Snyder Co.|accessdate=2008-09-17] Listen
filename=I Want to Go Back to Michigan.ogg
title=I Want to Go Back to Michigan
description=Performed by Billy Murray for Edison Records in 1914.

Composition

According to Charles Hamm in a biography of Irving Berlin, the songwriter composed "I Want to Go Back to Michigan" at a time when his ambitions were aiming past vaudeville toward musical theater and he was exercising new styles. The nostalgic reminiscence here, along with "Happy Little Country Girl" composed during the same period, was previously unknown in his work.cite book |accessdate=2008-09-17 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=35t8suq9m4MC&pg=PA170&dq=%22I+Want+to+go+back+to+Michigan%22+Irving+Berlin&ei=Tr3QSNznOZzayAS8pIDqAw&sig=ACfU3U3P4huULuEZ5_zUgfo013t41tcyGA|author=S. Charles Hamm|title=Irving Berlin|publisher=Oxford University Press US|date=1997| pages=170-172] Billy Murray, a popular singer during the period when the song was first composed, recorded it for Edison Records in 1914.

"Easter Parade"

Although the song was not composed to be part of a larger work, it appeared in the 1948 film "Easter Parade" which was written around a mixture of ten older and eight newly composed Irving Berlin songs.cite book |accessdate=2008-09-17 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=XD2xNKSN3E8C&pg=PA149&dq=Judy+Garland+I+Want+to+go+back+to+Michigan&ei=3kvRSJyjKpbQzATWvdnpAw&sig=ACfU3U3vGuXVacUD8C8XM-kMS-rWHC0syg|author=Stanley Green, Elaine Schmidt|title=Hollywood Musicals Year by Year|publisher=Hal Leonard Corporation|date=1999| pages=149] Berlin's deal with MGM for the package of songs that included "I Want to Go Back to Michigan" was $500,000 plus a percentage of box office receipts, which was an unusually advantageous contract for a songwriter and amounted to twenty percent of the film's total budget of $2.5 million.cite book |accessdate=2008-09-17 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=8ZgJu3UKRfIC&pg=PA475&dq=Easter+Parade+film+best+score&lr=&ei=HlrRSMO0HYPMyQTO0IHqAw&sig=ACfU3U2riGUcqZlvLWoMFaLYudm4UHXEJw#PPA479,M1|author=Laurence Bergreen|title=As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin|publisher=Da Capo Press|date=1996| pages=474-479] The film won the 1948 Academy Award for Best Musical Score.cite web|url=http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp;jsessionid=DA062AF82E35D352D99A87D42F36BBD9.jicama?curTime=1221973894128|title=Results page (Easter Parade)|publisher=Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|accessdate=2008-09-21]

References


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