A 1933 theatrical film starring Ethel Waters and 7 year old Sammy Davis


Creole ladies walk along with rhythm in their thighs
Rhythm in their feet and in their lips and in their eyes,
Where do highbrows find that kind of love that satisfies?
Underneath a Harlem moon!

There's no fields of cotton; picking cotton is taboo
We don't live in cabins like our old folks used to do.
Our cabin is a penthouse up on St Nicholas Avenue,
Underneath a Harlem moon!

We just live for dancing,
We're never blue or forlorn,
'Cause it ain't no sin to laugh and grin
That's why us schwatzes were born

Oh, we shout, "Hallelujah!" every time we're feeling low;
Every sheik is dressed up like a Georgia gigolo,
White folks call it madness but we call it hi-de-ho,
Underneath a Harlem moon

Once we wore bandanas, now we wear Parisian hats
Once we went barefoot, now we're sporting shoes and spats
Once we were Republicans, but now we're Democrats
Underneath a Harlem moon

We don't pick no cotton - pickin' cotton is taboo
All we pick is numbers - and that includes you white folks, too
Cause if we hit, then we pay our rent on any avenue - if we hit
Underneath a Harlem Moon

We just thrive on dancing - why be blue and forlorn
We just laugh, grin, let the landlord in
That's why house rent parties were born

We also drink our gin, puff our reefers when we're feeling low
Then we're ready to step out and take charge of any so and so

Don't stop for law nor traffic when we're rarin' to go
Underneath a Harlem moon

Ethel Waters on the kind of love that satisfies


nice shot of Ethel Waters in action


1933 Ethel Waters image


Ethel Waters' sly look


cherubic Ethel Waters


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Rufus Jones for President (1933) - America's first black president

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