American Icons: Anything Goes

Studio 360
This is our anthem to being naughty. Before Broadway musicals got serious about West Side gangs or Fleet Street barbers, Cole Porter entertained audiences with frothy tales of socialites, gangsters, and nightclub singers. Anything Goes was his biggest hit, and while it's something of a period piece, the title song took on a life of its own, thanks to Frank Sinatra. It celebrates liberation from social constraints – or what some would call a disgraceful slipping of standards: short hemlines, women smoking, four-letter words. "We have something called the First Amendment that says that we do most of what we want," says historian Laurence Maslon. "And yet there's this Puritan streak in America that says, you can't do that, that offends me." Today the lyrics about fast cars and short stockings feel quaint. To capture the sense of danger and titillation the song had in 1934, Studio 360 presents an update for the age of sexting, bailouts, and fries with bacon. (lyrics by Joe Keenan; performed by Bryan Batt, accompanied by Jesse Reeks on piano)   Bonus Track: "Anything Goes" revamped Written by Joe Keenan and performed by Bryan Batt – read the full lyrics below.   Interview: Mel Brooks on seeing Anything Goes for the first time   Video: "Anything Goes" in the opening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom   Video: Patty LuPone performs "Anything Goes" at the 1988 Tonys   Bonus: Joe Keenan's updated lyrics to "Anything Goes" Times have changed. Porter's ditty was once risqué But if Porter could see today And decorum's complete decay, He would say, "Though the Thirtie's were hot as hell, Everything that went then still goes ... And a whole lot else as well!" When gays can wed, and jaws aren't dropping When Barney and Ben go shopping for baby clothes, Anything goes! When dames as dim as Kim Kardashian Triumph by acting trashy in tawdry shows, Anything goes The smut you can get today On the 'net today, Straight or gay today, And all day today, 'Cause burlesque today  Is on your desk today, Where nobody can oppose. When girls of ten are adolescing And proving the point by dressing like tiny ho's, Anything goes! When grandma's face is pulled so tightly She looks like a Keira Knightley whose eyes won't close, Anything goes! When stars whose thoughts are far from clever  Are tweeting their fans whenever they blow their nose, Anything goes.  If airing your views you like On Fox News you like, If tattoos you like, Or girls' shoes you like, If rendezvous you like With Tom Cruise you like, Just say you won't disclose! When Cary Grants and Spencer Traceys Have turned into Kevin Spaceys and Russell Crowes Anything goes! When fast food chains serve fries with bacon To folks who could be mistaken for buffaloes Anything goes. When half the nations filled with rancor From living in homes their banker will soon foreclose, Anything goes. Though banks are all crooks today With cooked books today, When they fail today They get bailed today, And those banks today Are saying, "thanks!" today As their bonus pool just grows. When men of god who preach with thunder Are looking for fun with underage romeos, Anything goes! Anything – anything? – Everything goes! 
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