Anything Goes


  • Most definitely not to be confused with the AC/DC song of the same name, "Anything Goes" is one of American musical composer Cole Porter's most well-known and cleverly crafted songs.

    The sheet music from the show of the same name by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton, was published by Chappell of London at 2 shillings, copyright Harms of New York, 1934. The show was a Charles B. Cochran presentation.

    Sung by Ethel Merman and ensemble, Robert Kimball says in The Complete Lyrics Of Cole Porter, "The lyric for an earlier version of the first refrain was found in a copyist ink score at Warner Brothers Music warehouse, Secaucus, New Jersey, February 1982. Over the years Porter revised the sequence of the song's three refrains. Presumably, his final thoughts are set down in the version published in The Cole Porter Song Book (1959)."
  • Although basically a love song, this is also a mild rant at the way social mores change (as ever for the worse). In olden days a glimpse of stocking may have been looked on as something shocking, and contemporary writers may have taken to using four-letter words, but did anything really go in the '30s?

    Porter was no shrinking violet: "Love For Sale," one of his most famous songs, was written around this time and fell foul of the censor because of its overt reference to prostitutes. Had he lived to see punk rock and the gratuitous profanity, sex and violence of the modern cinema and other art forms, however, he might well have revised his opinion. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Australian actress Caroline O'Connor performed this song in the 2004 Cole Porter biopic, De-Lovely, named for the Porter song.
  • At the beginning of the 1984 movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) sings this in Mandarin at a nightclub in Shanghai. An orchestral version also plays as Indy fights his way out of the club.

Comments: 4

  • Just Me from Right Here I love that this song was revived by Bethesda and plays about every 8th song on “Diamond City Radio” in the game Fallout 4. Well done Bethesda
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 13th 1967, "Anything Goes" by Harpers Bizarre entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #85; and on September 17th, 1967 it peaked at #43 {for 3 weeks} and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between February 1967 and September 1968 the Santa Cruz quintet had five Top 100 records, with "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" being their biggest hit, and it peaked at #13 {for 2 weeks} on March 26th, 1967.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandParodied by Monty Python, with different words AND tune!
  • Geno from Columbus, OhA classic forever.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' Albums

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About Transgenderism

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About TransgenderismSong Writing

A history of songs dealing with transgender issues, featuring Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Morrissey and Green Day.

80s Video Director Jay Dubin

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.