To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)

Last updated
"To Be or Not to Be"
Mel brooks - To cover or not to cover.jpg
UK release artwork
Single by Mel Brooks
Genre Hip-hop
Length7:43(extended version)
4:35 (single version)
Label Island (UK 12IS 158)
Songwriter(s) Mel Brooks, Pete Wingfield
Producer(s) Pete Wingfield

"To Be or Not to Be" (also known as "The Hitler Rap") is a song recorded by Mel Brooks in 1983 for Island Records. The song appeared on the soundtrack album for the movie of the same name. It was derived from the burlesque show within the film but did not appear within it. [1] It also echoes Brooks's 1967 film The Producers , with the lines "Don't be stupid, be a smarty. Come and join the Nazi Party," [2] taken from the song "Springtime for Hitler".


In the accompanying music video, Mel Brooks is dressed like Adolf Hitler and raps about the key events in Hitler's life in Nazi Germany. The ending makes reference to Hitler's alleged escape to Argentina at the end of World War II. [2]

While having limited success in the United States, the song managed to chart high in Australia and the United Kingdom, peaking at number three in the former country and number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. It also reached number one in Norway and number two in Sweden.

Track listing

  1. "To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap) (Part 1)" – 7:43
  2. "To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap) (Part 2)" (Instrumental Mix) – 7:51


Weekly charts

Chart (1983–1984)Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) [4] [5] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [6] 23
Germany (Official German Charts) [7] 11
Ireland (IRMA) [8] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [9] 24
Norway (VG-lista) [10] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [11] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) [12] 15
UK Singles (OCC) [13] 12

Year-end charts

Chart (1984)Position
Australia (Kent Music Report) [4] 50

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"Springtime for Hitler" is a song written and composed by Mel Brooks for his 1968 film The Producers.


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