Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive

Kisses On The Bottom album artwork - Paul McCartneyWritten by: Harold Arlen (music), Johnny Mercer (lyrics)
Recorded: 2011
Producer: Tommy LiPuma
Engineer: Al Schmitt

Released: 6 February 2012 (UK), 7 February 2012 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals
Diana Krall: piano
John Pizzarelli: guitar
Robert Hurst: bass
Karriem Riggins: drums

Available on:
Kisses On The Bottom

The seventh song on Sir Paul McCartney's 2012 collection of American standards, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive was written and originally recorded in 1944.

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive - Kisses On the Bottom


Its composers were Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. The lyrics, according to Mercer, were inspired by a church sermon:

I went to hear Father Divine and he had a sermon and his subject was 'you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.' And I said 'Wow, that's a colorful phrase!'
Johnny Mercer
Pop Chronicles

Mercer recorded the song with the Pied Pipers and Paul Weston's orchetra on 4 October 1944. It entered the Billboard charts on 4 January the following year, peaking at number two and spending 13 weeks on the countdown.

A number of other recordings of the song followed in its wake. Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters made a version on 8 December 1944. Again it peaked at number two the following year, lasting nine weeks on the chart. Other versions were by Dolly Mitchell, Artie Shaw, Johnny Green and Connie Francis, and Perry Como recorded it in 1958 and 1980.

In 1958 Sam Cooke released a version of Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive on his Encore album. In 1961 Ella Fitzgerald recorded it for on her double album Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Harold Arlen Songbook, and the following year Aretha Franklin did it for her Columbia Records album The Electrifying Aretha Franklin.

The song has been recorded by various other artists, and has made frequent appearances in film and television productions.

In the studio

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive was recorded at Avatar Studios in New York. The rhythm arrangement was by Diana Krall.

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 my last remark
Jonah in the whale, and Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything seemed so dark?

Man they said we gotta
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, and Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything seemed so dark?

Man they said we'd better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

Oh no, hmm girl
No way, it's way
Too dark, for you
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

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