Fashion in Song – Shine On Your Shoes (1932…)

Originally from the 1932 Broadway Musical “Flying Colors”, written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, the song has had many covers: Jerry Lewis, Mel Tormé, Mandy Patinkin, Tony Bennett and even Liza Minnelli. Here is Fred Astaire with his version from 1953’s Bandwagon.

Fred Astaire – Bandwagon, 1953 from

When you feel as low as the bottom of a well
Can’t get out of the mood
Do something to perk yourself up
Change your attitude
Give a tug to your tie
Put a crease in your pants
But if you really wanna feel fine
Give your shoes a shine

When there’s a shine on your shoes,
there’s a melody in your heart,
With a singable, happy feeling,
What a wonderful way to start to face the world every day
With a “deedle-um-dee-di-di,”
little melody that is making the world go by.

When you walk down the street with a happy-go-lucky beat,
You’ll find a lot in what I’m repeating
When there’s a shine on your shoes,
there’s a melody in your heart
What a wonderful way to start the day

Now there’s a shine that you get in the barber shop
There’s a shine that you get in the Pullman car
There’s a shine that you get in the pool room
There’s a shine that you get in the school room

But it doesn’t matter where you get it
It’ll do a lot of good if you let it
A little bit of polish will abolish what’s bothering you

When there’s a shine on your shoes
Melody in your heart
Singable happy feeling
Wonderful!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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