Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)

In 1966 the rock group The Doors recorded "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" which I always thought was an oddity for the band. (Keyboardist Ray Manzarek plays the marxophone along with the organ and keyboard bass on it.) If I had read the credits closer, I would have discovered that the "Alabama Song" (also known as "Moon of Alabama", "Moon over Alabama", and "Whisky Bar") is an English song written for Bertolt Brecht by his close collaborator Elisabeth Hauptmann in 1925 and set to music by Kurt Weill for the 1927 play Little Mahagonny. If is one of two songs in the play that were English-language parodies written for the play.

The Doors changed the melody and some lyrics such as the verse beginning "Show me the way to the next little dollar..." is omitted. Jim Morrison altered the second verse from "Show us the way to the next pretty boy" to "Show me the way to the next little girl." (Though on the 1967 Live at the Matrix recording, he sings the original "... next pretty boy.")

David Bowie, a Brecht fan, seemed a better fit for the song which he incorporated into his 1978 World Tour and it was issued as a single which reached #23 in the UK. Bowie used the "little boy" line like Morrison, but used Weill's original melody.

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