Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.
Amidst the hoopla about “Somewhere,” “Maria,” and syncopated snapping, one West Side Story classic often gets lost in the Jets-Shark shuffle: “Gee, Officer Krupke.” A rare moment of levity in the musical’s bleak second act, the song gives the Jets a chance to explain where they come from. It’s a catchy romp, with plenty of authority-figure impersonations, but between the laughs it points to the cycle of poverty and neglect that leads young people to gang life.
Puttin’ on the Ritz open their 2008 covers album Bangin’ into the Future with this Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim gem. The “Outsider Jazz Duo” becomes a quintet for irreverent covers of “Earth Angel,” “The Rainbow Connection,” and nine more. For “Gee, Officer Krupke” a trumpet bloops and blaps along amidst all the anti-authoritarian shouting. Gee, Officer Krupke….krup you!