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Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga Perform “I Won’t Dance”


An encore of Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! – featuring an evening of classic jazz standards in both vocal duets and solo performances — will air on GREAT PERFORMANCES, Friday, January, 2018, at 9PM EST on PBS (check local listings).

Dancing women in feathered headdresses join Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga on stage during “I Won’t Dance,” and we even get to to see the two stars make some moves across the stage in this excerpt from their live concert.

“When you dance, you’re charming and you’re gentle
Especially when we do the Continental
But this feeling isn’t purely mental
For, heaven rest us, we’re not asbestos.

And that’s why I won’t dance, why should I?
I won’t dance, how could I?
I won’t dance, merci beaucoup.
We know that music leads the way to romance,
So if I hold you in my arms I won’t dance.”

Song Background

“I Won’t Dance” was composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach for the musical Three Sisters (1934), which flopped. The song got new lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh in 1935 for the film Roberta, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott. The song has since become a classic of the Great American Songbook.


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