Lucille Bremer and Van Johnson perform “I Won’t Dance” (music by Jerome Kern, lyric by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, 1935) in the star-studded bio-pic of Kern, Till the Clouds Roll By (1946.) The film features lavish renditions of famous songs from his musicals, performed by MGM’s stable of musical stars of the time.
The song “I Won’t Dance” was originally composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach, for the 1934 musical Three Sisters, which was a flop. The song was recycled for the 1935 movie musical Roberta, but with different words. Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh completely revamped the lyric, keeping only the title, which Hammerstein had originated. The Fields and McHugh lyric made the song a standard that has been recorded by nearly every major popular singer of the 20th century.