Words: Fred Ebb; Music: John Kander (1966)

Lyrics

What good is sitting alone
In your room?
Come hear the music play:
Life is a cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Put down the knitting, the book
And the broom –
Time for a holiday:
Life is a cabaret, old chum,
Come to the cabaret.

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band,
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating –
Right this way,
Your table’s waiting.

No use permitting
Some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away:
Life is a cabaret, old chum,
So come to the cabaret!

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band,
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating –
Right this way,
Your table’s waiting.

Start by admitting
From cradle to tomb
Isn’t that long a stay:
Life is a cabaret, old chum,
Only a cabaret, old chum,
So come to the cabaret!

Background

“Caberet” was written for the 1966 Kander & Ebb Broadway musical of the same name, which became a hit and spawned a 1972 film with Liza Minnelli (Judy Garland’s daughter), as well as many other productions.

Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, the musical focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

Performances

Enjoy Liza Minnelli’s rendition of “Cabaret” from the film of the same name: