It Don't Mean A Thing
Ella Fitzgerald Lyrics


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It don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah

It don't mean a thing
All you got to do is sing
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah

It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm everything you got
Oh, it don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah

It don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Doo-wah, doo-wah

Don't mean a thing
All you got to do is sing
Doo-wah, doo-wah

It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm everything you got
Oh, it don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah
Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah

It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm everything you've got

Don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing

Don't mean a thing
All you got to do is sing
Doo-wah

Makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm everything you got
Don't mean a thing
All you gotta do is swing, doo

It don't mean a thing
All you gotta do is sing

It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Give that rhythm everything you've got

Oh, it don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Doo-wah, doo-wah





Don't mean a thing

Overall Meaning

These lyrics from Ella Fitzgerald’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing” carry the message that regardless of how sweet or hot a piece of music is, it’s meaningless if it doesn’t have a swing. Swing music is a rhythmic style that originated in African-American communities in the early 1920s and was characterized by a strong rhythmic drive, often achieved by "swinging" the eighth notes in a passage. The lyrics in this song show that more than the genre itself, the rhythm is what carries the music and gives it meaning.


The opening lines, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing," emphasizes the importance of having a good swing and how it can make a difference. Ella also implies that the people listening to the music are not concerned with genre, but only with whether or not the music makes them want to get up and dance. The line, "All you gotta do is swing, doo," summarises the base message of the song.


The song is about the joy of jazz and how swing became an integral part of jazz music. It is a celebration of the music itself, and it demonstrates that the most crucial element of jazz is its ability to move, groove, and inspire dancer or listener alike.


Line by Line Meaning

It don't mean a thing
The importance of something is measured by the presence of rhythm and musicality.


If it ain't got that swing
If it doesn't possess a lively, rhythmic quality or beat, it doesn't hold any meaning or value.


Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah
This line is purely an onomatopoeia, which signifies the importance of the rhythm in the song.


All you got to do is sing
The song focuses only on the importance of singing, and how it can bring rhythm to life.


It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot
Whether the song is slow or fast, it doesn't matter as long as there is rhythm and musicality present.


Just give that rhythm everything you got
Put in all the effort and energy required to bring the rhythm and music to life.


Don't mean a thing
If the song lacks rhythm or musicality, it doesn't have any value or importance.


All you gotta do is swing, doo
To keep the rhythm alive, one has to keep swinging or moving to the beat.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Capitol CMG Publishing
Written by: Duke Ellington, Irving Mills

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@owethumhlongo1494

She deserved a title ' Queen of Jazz' without a doubt! 😊

@chaumari

It was between her and Sarah Vaughn💐

@direfranchement

She had a better title---The First Lady of Song. She was called thr Queen of Scat, and certainly she was a singer birthed of the Swing era, but she was so versatile to call her the Queen of Jazz would give insight into only one dimension of her craft. She was bigger than that.

@mthunzimhlongo660

ACTUALLY THE GODDESS OF JAZZ

@owethumhlongo1494

Indeed NJOMANE

@peterblack1639

Owethu Mhlongo yes she was clearly the Queen Of Jazz singing in a style that has long been lost.....

39 More Replies...

@inapix

I just love how the Duke clearly is in awe of her, with his little glances and smiles at her while she’s singing and his hug afterwards. Ella seems like such a lovely person, as well as such an incredible singer!

@marckodiak8513

After you mentioned this I went back and watched this, I am always just so focused on her but yes he is 🤩

@dalilabendjedou2061

I’m French and listening the song in my school Sorry my English is....😂 so I’m 12 year

@KiraSlith

I would be too, the pipes on her were incredible, dare I say a revolutionary marvel for the era. The only other places you saw anything comparable was the competitive era of rap (late 90s to the end of the 00s) and Scatman, and none of them could both fill a room with their voice and singing like that at the same time.

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