The Threepenny Opera

Original Off-Broadway Cast (1954)





Polly Peachum
Mr. Peachum
Mrs. Peachum
Lucy Brown
Tiger Brown
Readymoney Matt
Crook-Finger Jack
Walt Dreary
Charles Filch
Sawtooth Bob
Second Constable
Reverend Kimball
First Constable

Track List

  • Tracks

  • Ballad of Mack the Knife
  • Mr. Peachum's Morning Hymn
  • Instead-Of Song
  • Wedding Song for Poor People
  • Cannon Song
  • Love Song
  • Barbara Song
  • The Uncertainty of Human Conditions
  • Polly's Farewell Song
  • The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
  • Pirate Jenny or Dreams of a Kitchen Maid
  • The Procurer's Ballad
  • The Ballad of Pleasant Living
  • Jealousy Duet
  • What Keeps Mankind Alive?
  • The Song About Inadequacy
  • Song of Solomon
  • Call from the Grave
  • Ballad in Which Macheath Asks Everyone for Forgiveness
  • The Riding Messenger

Trivia & History

Also reissued on Time-Life P-16375 (M), set STL-AM10, with One Touch of Venus and Lady in the Dark. Set title: 'Kurt Weill'.

This was the first off-Broadway cast recording.

Sold 30,000 copies in the first three months. 150,000 in the next two years. After 5 years, it had sold more than any other cast album other than My Fair Lady.

Featured the original cast with Martin Wolfson as Mr. Peachum. At the time the recording was made, the original Mr. Peachum, Leon Lishner, had already left the cast.

MGM decided to make a cast album. But when MGM's CEO attended a performance, he submitted a list of musical numbers that would have to be deleted from the record and list of objectionable lyrics that would need to be changed. The lists were submitted at the recording session. Marc Blitzstein and Lotte Lenya were able to keep all of the musical numbers on the album (after much argument). But lyrics still needed to be censored and Blitzstein was forced to submit revised versions as the songs were being recorded. All "hell's" and "damn's" were removed, as were all references to whores, pimps, drunkenness and cat-houses.

Other rewrites included:

  • The removal of Sloppy Sadie's knifewound and Little Susie's rape in Mack the Knife.
  • The section in the second finale referring to "he steps on your face".
  • The course imagery in "Tango Ballad" was watered down.
  • The word "ass" in "Call from the Grave" had to be changed and the line became "Stand on your feet".

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Cover Art

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