You'd Be Surprised

"You'd Be Surprised" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1919.


The first verse introduces the shy Johnny and the woman Mary who finds him to be an exceptional lover, although apparently no one else ever has. She explains his appeal in the first chorus. By the second verse, Mary's talking-up of Johnny has resulted in him now being very popular with the ladies. The song leaves any questions about Mary's status unanswered.

The first chorus mentions the Morris Chair, made popular in America by furniture maker Gustav Stickley.

Part of first verse:

Johnny was bashful and shy;
Nobody understood why
Mary loved him.
Everyone wanted to know
How she could pick such a beau
With a twinkle in her eye
She made this reply

Parts of various choruses:

He's not so good in a crowd
But when you get him alone
You'd be surprised;
He's kind of scared in a mob
But when he takes you home
You'd be surprised.
He won't impress you
Right from the start
But in a week or two
You'd be surprised.
At a party or a ball
I've got to admit he's nothing at all
But in a Morris chair
You'd be surprised

Part of second verse:

Mary continued to praise
Johnny's remarkable ways
To the ladies
And you know advertising pays
Now Johnny's ne'er alone
He has the busiest phone
Almost every other day
A new girl will say

Cover versions

Kathy Linden released a version of the song as a single in 1958 that reached #50 on the Billboard pop chart.[1]

The song was recorded by a number of artists, including Billy Murray. Madeline Kahn sang it at Carnegie Hall in 1988 for Berlin's 100 Birthday Celebration. Five years later, Murray would record a similar-themed tune called "Charley, My Boy", which included an instrumental referback to this one. The song was revived by Olga San Juan in the 1946 Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film, Blue Skies. Additionally, rock band White Hassle recorded a cover of the song for their 2005 album Your Language.[2] The song was also memorably recorded by Marilyn Monroe - with alternate lyrics. It is available on the Marilyn Monroe compilation album titled Anthology.


External links

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