Hit song for the Don Bestor orchestra back in 1933, when it reached #2 on the charts. Written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren for the film 42nd Street, where it was brought to life courtesy of Ruby Keeler, Clarence Nordstrom, and the choreography of Busby Berkeley. The song appears near the end of the film, when chorus girl Peggy (Keeler) finally gets her big break to take over the lead in a musical revue named "Pretty Lady," and this song (and dance) is the first of the musical numbers we get to see from this show.

Movie version:
Someday I hope we'll be elected
to buy a lot of baby clothes
We don't know when to expect it
but it's a cinch, Winchell knows

Now that we have had the rice and flowers,
The knot
Is tied.
I can visu'lize such happy hours,
Close by
Your side.
The honeymoon in store
Is one that you'll adore,
I'm gonna take you for a ride.

I’ll go home and get my panties*,
You go home and get your scanties,
And away we’ll go; Mm mm mm!
Off we’re gonna shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo.

To Niagara in a sleeper,
There’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper
And the train goes slow, Mm mm mm!
Off we’re gonna shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo.

Published lyrics:
Someday the stork may pay us a visit
And leave a little souvenir;
Just a little cute "What is it?"
But we’ll discuss that later, dear.
For a little silver quarter,
We can have the Pullman porter
Turn the lights down low. Oh oh oh!
Off we’re gonna shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo.

Keeler and Nordstrom sing to each other on the end of the caboose on the "Niagara Limited," and then the car breaks open and splits down the middle to show all the train compartments within. The camera pulls back to also show the orchestra and the audience (reminding us that we are watching a staged musical)... and the camera cuts to follow the couple as they dance up and down the aisle of the train car.

What most of the lyrics sites on the Web reveal is the published lyrics to this song. However, in the song's debut in 42nd Street, two showgirls (Una Merkel and Ginger Rogers) in an upper berth in the train are watching the happy couple add their own refrain and verse as a counterpoint to the happy couple's version (and these words do not appear in the published lyrics):

    Matrimony is baloney
    She'll be wanting alimony
    In a year or so
    Still they go and shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo

    When she knows as much as we know
    She'll be on her way to Reno
    While he still has dough
    She'll give him the shuffle, when they're back from Buffalo

    I'll bet that she's the farmer's daughter
    And he's that well-known traveling man;
    He once stopped down at the farm house,
    That's how the whole affair began!

    He did right by little Nelly
    with a shotgun at his bel... tummy,**
    How could he say "No?" He just had to shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Niagara Falls had become a popular tourist destination. With easy railroad access via the New York Central, Niagara Falls was heavily promoted as a honeymoon destination for newlyweds, not only from New York City, but anywhere with railroad access to NYC. Given that "Niagara" is hard to rhyme, and that Buffalo, New York is the urban center nearest to the falls on the United States side, "shuffling off to Buffalo" is a catchy phrase to encapsulate such a honeymoon trip to the "Honeymoon capital of the World."

* In 42nd Street, the husband sings this line.

** In 1933, you couldn't say "belly" on stage, it was too vulgar.

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