Cole Porter loved to write songs with lists of various items. “You’re the Top” is probably the best known of these list songs. It was written for the Broadway show “Anything Goes” in 1934. Porter composed it during a cruise on Germany’s Rhine River. He asked his fellow passengers to tell him what they considered important in their lives, or important in general, and Porter worked them into the lyric. For the record, he names an astonishing 37 persons, places and things in the course of the song. I’ve included a visual reference to every item he mentions.
Actually there are many variations on “You’re the Top,” with the list changing with the times. This version is the one Porter himself recorded in 1934. It’s been digitally remastered and cleaned up and sounds about as good as it did the day he laid down the track. Porter wasn’t much of a singer, but he more than makes up for that with his enthusiasm and sense of fun.