“He had it coming”
Taken from the album Chicago: Original Soundtrack
Chicago is a great musical, but ‘Cell Block Tango’ is so much better than they rest of the other songs, the others should be ashamed of themselves. Telling the story of six “merry murderesses”, ‘Cell Block Tango’ includes affairs, lies, scandal, false accusation, and most of all, crazy, crazy women. Oh, and MYA!
I love the detail in the film during this number, like every woman producing red handkerchiefs when they describe the murder, and then the Hungarian woman producing a white handkerchief, symbolising her innocence. The huge powerful chorus of “He had it coming!” and the sheer ridiculousness of the verse that goes “The dirty bum, bum, bum, bum, bum!” make this one of the biggest showstoppers I’ve ever heard.
I’ve seen this done live twice, once in a proper Chicago production and another time by the stage school I used to attend, and both were fairly good, but the chemistry between the actresses and the high budget and effort put into the film version make it the best. Catherine Zeta-Jones is much better than you’d ever expect her to be, the song sounds fuller and more massive than ever before, and the whole package adds up to one of the all-time great modern musical numbers.