Mack the Knife
Louis Armstrong Lyrics


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Dig, man, there goes Mack The Knife

Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has MacHeath, dear
And he keeps it out of sight
When the shark bites with his teeth, dear
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, though, wears MacHeath, dear
So there's not a trace of red

On the sidewalk, sundayy morning, baby
Lies a body oozin' life
Someone's sneakin' 'round the corner
Is this someone Mack the Knife?

From a tugboat, by the river
A cement bag's drooppin' down
Yes, the cement's just for the weight, dear
Bet you Macky's back in town
Lookie here, Louie Miller disappeared, dear
After drawin' out his cash
And MacHeath spends like a sailor
Did our boy do somethin' rash?

Sukey Tawdry, Jenny Diver, Lotte Lenya, sweet Lucy Brown
Oh, the line forms on the right, dears
Now that Macky's back in town





Take it, Satch

Overall Meaning

Louis Armstrong's "Mack the Knife" is a musical masterpiece that tells the story of a notorious criminal named Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife, who is a serial killer and a thief. The song captures the fear and thrill of the criminal underworld while showcasing the ironies and paradoxes inherent to human behavior.


The lyrics of the song highlight the ruthlessness of Mack the Knife, who is compared to a shark with pretty teeth that show pearly white. He carries just a jackknife, but keeps it out of sight. When he bites with his teeth, the scarlet billows start to spread, but he wears such fancy gloves that there is no trace of red left. The song also describes a body lying on the sidewalk on a Sunday morning, indicating Mack the Knife's lethal activities. As the song progresses, it questions if Mack the Knife is responsible for the murder of Louie Miller, who disappeared after drawing out his cash. The song ends with the line "Now that Macky's back in town," implying that the criminal has returned to inflict mayhem once again.


Line by Line Meaning

Dig, man, there goes Mack The Knife
Look, there goes the notorious criminal MacHeath.


Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear
MacHeath is as dangerous as a shark, even though he appears charming and harmless.


And it shows them pearly white
His smile may be harmless and attractive, but it hides his true intentions.


Just a jackknife has MacHeath, dear
MacHeath is dangerous with just a simple weapon like a knife.


And he keeps it out of sight
MacHeath keeps his knife hidden to avoid detection and suspicion.


When the shark bites with his teeth, dear
When MacHeath attacks, it's swift and deadly.


Scarlet billows start to spread
Blood begins to spill and the aftermath of his attack is visible.


Fancy gloves, though, wears MacHeath, dear
Even though he is a criminal, MacHeath has a taste for luxury items like expensive gloves.


So there's not a trace of red
He wears gloves to avoid leaving any evidence of his crimes.


On the sidewalk, sundayy morning, baby
On a quiet Sunday morning, a body lies lifeless on the sidewalk.


Lies a body oozin' life
The body is still warm and fresh with blood from the fatal wound.


Someone's sneakin' 'round the corner
A suspicious figure is seen lurking around the corner.


Is this someone Mack the Knife?
It's possible that MacHeath is the one responsible for the recent murder.


From a tugboat, by the river
From a boat on the river, a heavy and suspicious object is dropped.


A cement bag's drooppin' down
The bag is likely filled with cement to weigh something down.


Yes, the cement's just for the weight, dear
The cement is being used to weigh down something much heavier and important.


Bet you Macky's back in town
It's highly likely that MacHeath has returned to the city to cause more trouble.


Lookie here, Louie Miller disappeared, dear
Louie Miller, a known associate of MacHeath's, has disappeared and is nowhere to be found.


After drawin' out his cash
Louie was last seen withdrawing a large sum of money from his bank account.


And MacHeath spends like a sailor
MacHeath has a reputation for being extravagant with his money.


Did our boy do somethin' rash?
It's possible that Louie was killed by MacHeath, perhaps for his money or because he knew too much.


Sukey Tawdry, Jenny Diver, Lotte Lenya, sweet Lucy Brown
These are all women associated with MacHeath, and are likely accomplices or partners in crime.


Oh, the line forms on the right, dears
There are many people eager to join MacHeath's circle of criminal associates.


Now that Macky's back in town
With MacHeath's return, there is sure to be more criminal activity and chaos.


Take it, Satch
This is a directive for Satchmo (Louis Armstrong) to start playing his trumpet.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, ACUM Ltd., Reservoir Media Management, Inc.
Written by: Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Marc Blitzstein

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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All comments from YouTube:

@marypalmer00

I have this as my alarm clock in the morning, people say an alarm is always annoying no matter what's playing, but this always makes me smile and makes my morning special when I let it play for a bit longer.

@Ulises_Pech

Is NICE

@cruzmaugcruz3410

JAJAJAJAJAJA. TAMBIÉN VOY A PROGRAMARLA PARA DESPERTAR CON ELLA CADA DÍA,

@elmerl7613

there is definetly a joke to made here but this is to wholesome

@SoulKingBK

@@elmerl7613 hey killers smile some times too

@elmerl7613

@@SoulKingBK I certinly do

11 More Replies...

@davidlejenkins

He always has the biggest smile in the world on his face.

@bertus161057

Smoked pot every day maybe thats why

@bubblegumpink841

@@bertus161057 that's mean

@ivanolsen8596

Hence the nickname Satchmo, Satchel Mouth.

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