Written by Leo Robin and Arthur Schwartz for the 1946 musical The Time, The Place, and The Girl
, "A Rainy Night In Rio" reached number seven on the American pop charts as performed by Sam Donohue and His Orchestra. The song was also covered by, among others, the Andrews Sisters
, Rosemary Clooney
, and much later, the disco group Tuxedo Junction
But if we know this song at all it's probably from the classic 1949 Warner Brothers cartoon
". It begins with Bugs Bunny
enthusiastically strumming a banjo
and singing while his neighbor Giovanni Jones, a famous opera performer, is trying to practice. As Jones sings, Bugs' music drifts in the window and sidetracks him so he finds himself unintentionally switching in mid-verse to whatever Bugs is singing. Infuriated, he walks up to Bugs and smashes the banjo to pieces.
If and when I locate the full lyrics to the original I will post them; the partial lyrics below are provided so you can sing along the next time you watch the cartoon.
What do they do on a rainy night in Rio?
What do they do when there is no starry sky?
(Oh, a starry sky!)
Where do they go when they can't go for a walk?
Do they stay home and talk?
Or do they sit and sigh?
(abruptly realizes what he's singing and storms out)
What do they do in Mississippi,
When skies are drippy...?
And what do they do in Tee-ya-wanna,
When they wanna snuggle tight?