Let's Do It

Reviewed by mojo

Another list song, which Mojo likes. Another Twoo Wuuv song, which Mojo can take or leave. And a hair draggy for my taste, but it's entertaining enough for Mojo to let it slide. Even though it's draggy, Ella still manages to swing it, if such a thing can be said. (I just said it, so I guess it CAN be said.) I like the simple arrangement--strummy guitar, tinkly piano, bass, and brushes on the drums. Very intimate, as the song requires.

And yet, perhaps because Mojo is relatively naive regarding how various creatures fall in love--she's only fallen in love once, you see, and it was a mystifying experience she has long ago decided not to dissect but to just enjoy--there are lyrics to this song I don't quite get, probably due to the whirlwind tour of different cultures and species thus listed. For example, I'm not exactly sure why it's against the wish of a clam to fall in love. Perhaps this is because shellfish lack higher functions, and hence do not recognize that falling in love is pretty much necessary for the continuation of the species? Then again the oysters down in Oyster Bay don't report any such reservations. It's all so confusing to a naive young thing like Mojo.

And why are jellyfish branded as "lazy"? Ever see a big cloud of them skooching their way around the tank in an aquarium? (It's very pretty. Sometimes aquariums get a big tank and they fill it with baby jellyfish and they add Dramatic Lighting and it is WAY cool. But I digress.) Look, Mojo is lazy. Just look at her--or, okay, imagine her--sitting on the couch in her bathrobe, typing this. Okay, so I'm lying; I am actually at the car dealership this moment, getting my Favorite Husband's car serviced and quietly imagining how much cruel fun it would be if I had one of those turn-off-the-televisions remote doohickies they were selling on NPR a few years back, so I could turn off the televisions they have in the waiting area. My point is, Mojo invented lazy. Jellyfish, by comparison, are Captains of Industry. Methinks sometimes Mister Cole Porter is relying a bit too heavily on their lack of legal rights as it pertains to American libel law. Either that, or Mojo is reading too much into things again.

Ella puts these and many other petty complaints to rest by singing them in a smooth-as-glass voice. I suspect she could have sung something like "Mojo is a whiny creep, doo-dah, doo-dah" and I would be too busy perking up and saying "Hey! That's Ella singing!" to listen to the words. But alas, Ella is no longer with us, at least in the sense that she could EVER be convinced to do such a career-killing stunt. Yes, it's puerile, and Mojo is sorry she even brought up such a thing. But Ella could have made it work. You don't believe me? Click on this! It's Ella singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". She makes it work, I'm telling you! Honest.

Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) (1956)

Click below to hear a sample--or scroll down for associated media: 
Disc Number: 
Cole Porter
Cole Porter

From Wikipedia:


"Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" is a popular song written in 1928 by Cole Porter. It was introduced in Porter's first Broadway success, the musical Paris (1928) by French chanteuse Irène Bordoni for whom Porter had written the musical as a starring vehicle. Bordoni's husband and Paris producer Ray Goetz having convinced Porter to give Broadway another try with this show. The song was later used in the English production of "Wake Up and Dream" (1929).

The first of Porter's famous "list songs", it features a string of suggestive and droll comparisons and examples, preposterous pairings and double-entendres, dropping famous names and events, drawing unexpectedly from highbrow and popular culture.

The first refrain covers human ethnic groups, the second refrain birds, the third refrain marine life, the fourth refrain insects (plus centipedes) and the fifth refrain non-human mammals.

The phrase "Let's fall in love" is actually a euphemistic reference to a proposition for Sexual intercourse. Several of the more suggestive lines in this regard include a couplet from verse 4: "Moths in your rugs do it, What's the use of moth-balls?" and "Folks in Siam do it, Think of Siamese twins" (verse 1) and "Why ask if shad do it? Waiter, bring me shad roe" (verse 3) and "Sweet guinea-pigs do it, Buy a couple and wait" (verse 5). There's also a report that Porter's original version included the even more risqué line, "Roosters with a doodle and a cock do it." If true, this was probably replaced by one of the lines in the verse 2 couplet "Penguins in flocks, on the rocks, do it, Even little cuckoos, in their clocks, do it."

The nature of the song, "Let's Fall in Love," is such that it has lent itself over the years to the regular addition of contemporary or topical stanzas. For example, in 1955 the line "Even Liberace, we assume, does it" was added by Noël Coward in his cabaret performance of the song.

The song has been revived many times since 1928, although usually with only a limited portion of the original lyrics. A punk rock version performed by Joan Jett and Paul Westerberg was used as the theme song in the 1995 movie Tank Girl; the song is also performed by star Lori Petty in a musical revue number within the film. It was originally recorded with Joan Jett and Greg Graffin, but Atlantic Records didn't want them using Greg so they deleted his voice and recorded Paul's. Joan Jett and Greg Graffin's version of "Let's Do It" was eventually released in 2000 on the compilation CD Laguna Tunes (Blackheart Records).

The White Stripes' song, "Forever For Her (Is Over For Me)" from their 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan borrows lyrics and themes from this song:

"So let's do it, just get on a plane and just do it // Like the birds and the bees and get to it"

Brazilian singers Chico Buarque and Elza Soares recorded a great Portuguese adaptation by Carlos Rennó, "Façamos - Vamos Amar" on Buarque's 2002 album "Duetos". It adds even more nations, animals and groups.

Porter's original opening line for the chorus was:

And that's why
Chinks do it, Japs do it

And this line can be heard in several early recordings of the song. Examples include a recording made by Rudy Vallée in 1928, and a version of the song by the singer and well-known broadway star Mary Martin (with Ray Sinatra's orchestra), recorded in 1944. Another recording that includes the offensive opening line is one that was done by Billie Holiday, also in the 1940's.

The above referenced original opening stanza of the chorus were changed to the now much better known refrain: "Birds do it, Bees do it" by Cole Porter when he realized that the line was offensive.[1]

 Notable recordings