I Love A Parade

Album: Rhythmania (1931)

Songfacts®:

  • Harry Richman, known for introducing the popular Irvin Berlin tune "Puttin' On the Ritz" a couple years earlier, gushes about the thrills of a passing parade in this upbeat marching song from songwriting duo Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Arlen, who went on to compose classics like the Wizard of Oz number "Over The Rainbow," spent most of the '30s writing songs for musical revues at the Cotton Club, a famous hotspot in Harlem that welcomed some of the biggest black entertainers of the era. "I Love A Parade" debuted in Rhythmania, the first show with Duke Ellington taking over the house band. The revue also introduced another popular Arlen/Koehler collaboration: "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea."

    Popular recordings followed from country singer Frank Luther, backed by Arden-Ohman Orchestra, and Harry Richman.
  • The song came together spontaneously as Arlen and Koehler were out for a stroll. Koehler recalled (in Michael Feinstein's American Songbook): "Harold liked to walk. I didn't. However, he used to talk me into walking and I remember one day it was cold out and to pep me he started to hum an ad lib marching tune. I guess I started to fall into step and got warmed up. By the end of the walk, the song was written."
  • Broadway entertainer and choreographer Peter Gennaro performed this on a 1963 episode of The Judy Garland Show.
  • This plays throughout the 1932 Merrie Melodies circus-themed cartoon called "I Love A Parade."
  • Harry Morgan sings a snippet of this in the 1974 M*A*S*H episode "The General Flipped At Dawn."

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