What'll I Do

What'll I Do
Song by Irving Berlin
Written 1923

"What'll I Do" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1923.[1] It was introduced by singers Grace Moore and John Steel[2] late in the run of Berlin's third Music Box Revue and was also included in the following year's edition.[3] In the lyrics, the singer questions how he or she will get by now that a recent romance has ended.

The most famous cover was done by Frank Sinatra in his 1962 album All Alone (Frank Sinatra album). The song was used as a generalized theme in Nelson Riddle's Academy Award-winning period score for the 1974 film The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, sung by character actor William Atherton. It was sung by Mary Steenburgen in the 1991 movie The Butcher's Wife, and was used as the theme tune to the British sitcom Birds of a Feather, performed by its lead stars Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson. An instrumental version of the song was used under the closing scene of "I Do, Adieu" (1987), the fifth-season finale of the sitcom Cheers. The Johnny Mathis version of the song was also used in the closing scene of "The Jet Set," the eleventh episode in the second season of Mad Men. The song was also performed by Bea Arthur in the episode "Journey to the Center of Attention" (1992) of The Golden Girls. The song was included on Seth MacFarlane’s fifth album, Once in a While. The song was also featured in the 2003 film Mona Lisa Smile. Lately Bob Dylan covered it in his 2015 album Shadows in the Night.

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ Lyman, Darryl (1996). Jewish Heroes & Heroines: Their Unique Achievements. Jonathan David. p. 183. ISBN 0824603885.
  2. ^ "Second Hand Songs - Artist: Irving Berlin" (list),, 2007-03-24, webpage: IBerlin1096.
  3. ^ "American Classics - Music Box Revues 1921-1924" (history), webpage: AmClass-IBerlin.
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