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Lay for the Day
2nd February

1932: in New York, on James Joyce’s 50th birthday, the Duke Ellington Orchestra records ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ with vocals by Ivie Anderson.

Dr Jas
[Hear it here]

Take it away,
Good Dr Jas.
A thing it don’t mean
f that swing it don’t has.
There is a beautiful moon up tonight
And a big band of stars
Shining bright.
It’s time for that solo flight.
It’s going to be all right.

How do you do,
Reverend Blues,
With your walking cane
And your running shoes?
There is a harp in the breeze blowing low
And outside the sun
Is coming up slow.
Swing down sweet chariot,
Let’s go.

Swing down, sweet chariot,
Let’s go…


Words and music by The Children

The Lay Reader – the whole poetic calendar