Mack the Knife is one of my favorite songs of all time. I’ve been a fan of Bobby Darin since well before his 1959 version was a #1 hit in the US. I found Darin’s lyrics quite faithfully recorded at sing365.com, making only slight changes in spelling or caps for my chart below. The song was originally in a German operetta – music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholt Brecht – that premiered in Berlin in 1928. The history of this song is a musical education in itself- fascinating! I was motivated to learn to play this one in response to a request by one of the complex care patients I entertain on Mondays at the local hospital. The reason I’d passed over it before is because it rises chromatically five times from concert Bb to Eb. It was beyond my guitar chops in 1959 to put this together, but if you can play bar chords it’s not that tough to follow what I’ve done here. If you plunk your capo on fret 1 you can start off in a comfy A and play along with this great YouTube video shared by Armadilloman.
Using a capo for this piece isn’t all that necessary. I just like the way it ends with me playing in a comfy key of D which, because of the capo, sounds like Eb, a key I still shy away from if I can.
About that last, very cool, chord: Continue reading “Mack The Knife – Lyrics and Chords”