Witty Songs

ŠTed Schaar 2011

2.  "I Can Make Anything, But I Can't Make a Man."

Dewey Gill, long-time host of The Big Band Show on Milwaukee's WMSE-FM 91.7, played the second song one Sunday morning on his program.  It was written by Reuben Bloom and recorded by the Dorsey Brothers in 1933; vocals are by Mildred Bailey. 

 Exactly who or what the Yokohamas of the second line are is an open question, but most likely they represent a play on the name of the Japanese port, Yokohama--the nation's second-largest city--and are meant to be a Japanese-sounding family name.  Certainly, along with Alabama's and Bahamas, Yokohamas is a good rhyme with pajamas.

(Visit YouTube [Bailey] for the song).  Like "My Sweet Tooth...," it has an unusually long lead-in before Bailey starts singing. 


I can make pajamas 
Like the Yokohamas
Make 'em out of silk in Japan
I can make most anything
But I can't make a man
I can make a dinner 
Not like a beginner 
I won't have to open a can 
I can make most anything
But I can't make a man
I can take an old hat
Make it look like new
Just add a ribbon or two
That's what I do to cut expenses  

I can make a dollar 
Jump right up and holler
Talk about your lemon meringue
I can make most anything
But I just can't seem to make a man  

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