Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive

accentuate

PROFILE
Composer Harold Arlen
Lyricist Johnny Mercer
Year Written 1944
About Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
This charming song was written in the style of sermon with the message of being positive is the key to happiness. Mercer is said to have heard a sermon by Father Divine, who said “you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” And thus this memorable song was born. The song was first used in the 1944 movie Here Comes the Waves, starring Bing Crosby and Betty Hutton. Significant recordings include those by Bing Crosby, Kay Kyser, Artie Shaw, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington.

Lyrics

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark

Man, they said we better, accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me?

Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear
About the elininatin’ of the negative
And the accent on the positive
And gather ’round me children if you’re willin’
And sit tight while I start reviewin’
The attitude of doin’ right

You’ve gotta accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom, down to the minimum
Otherwise pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they say
Say when everything looked so dark

Man, they said we better accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, don’t mess with Mister In-Between

Session / Album Information

1998

“”Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive was recorded in June 1998 and released that same year on the album The Playground.

This recording released on:

  • 1998: Columbia CD: CK 69380 —The Playground
  • 2004: Columbia/Legacy CD: C5K 92784 — Fifty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett
  • 2011: Disc #64 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK62) The Playground
  • 2013: Columbia/Legacy – Sixty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett

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