Mack the Knife

These are the opening lyrics of Mack the Knife, one of the most famous songs from the 1928 Threepenny Opera, a groundbreaking work that blends elements of musical theater, jazz, and social commentary. The song introduces the character Macheath, a charismatic but dangerous criminal known as Mackie. It describes Mackie’s exploits and criminal activities in a catchy, upbeat melody, juxtaposing the dark subject matter with an ironically cheerful tune. Mack the Knife has been covered by numerous artists in various styles, including Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. Its popularity endures, making it a classic of both musical theater and popular music and now in handbell literature.

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