Single Release March 2: “Surabaya Johnny”
Monday 2 March 2015 the German composer Kurt Weill would have reached the age of 115, if he had been blessed to live so long. On this occasion Kurt Weill Ensemble is releasing the single “Surabaya Johnny”. The song is a foretaste of the debut album “Lonely Songs” released on April 23.
“Surabaya Johnny” is among Weill’s most famous songs, taken from the musical Happy End from 1929, lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. The musical had little success during his lifetime, and was canselled after only three performances. It did not get a second chance until 1958, eight years after Weill’s death. Yet some of the songs from this musical stands out as among the most famous in Brecht / Weill’s production, such as “Bilbao Song” and thus “Surabaya Johnny”.
The song is sung by a young girl who is about to be abandoned by Surabaya Johnny. He has promised her gold and green forests, but it turns out that he was not the person he pretended to be. He has deceived her from the get go: “You would not have my love, Johnny, you wanted money, Johnny! ”
Brecht and Weill paints the desperation of the young girl, who both love and hate this man, “You demanded everything, Johnny, I gave you more, Johnny! Get that pipe out of mouth, you dog! ”
“Surabaya Johnny” is arranged for the ensemble by Sigrun Eng.