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[Nat King Cole]
Nat "King" Cole
MUSIC
VERNACULAR
.
Straighten Up and Fly Right
Nat "King" Cole (1919-1965), a member of Thomas Waller Lodge No. 49 PHA, in Los Angeles, had his first mainstream vocal hit with his composition "Straighten Up and Fly Right", recorded for Capitol Records in 1943. Note the phrase "on the square" in the second line.
A buzzard took monkey for a ride in the air
The monkey thought that everything was on the square
The buzzard tried to throw the monkey off his back
But the monkey grabbed his neck and said—Now listen, Jack

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down, papa, don't you blow your top.
Ain't no use in divin'
What's the use in jivin'
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down, papa, don't you blow your top.

The buzzard told the monkey "You're chokin' me
Release your hold and I'll set you free
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye and said
Your story's so touching but it sounds just like a lie

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and stay right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down, papa, don't you blow your top.

(instrumental interlude)

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and stay right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down, papa, don't you blow your top.


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