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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

These Foolish Things

By Harry Link, Holt Marvell & Jack Strachey
1935

Written for the London stage revue Spread It Around, this achingly melancholy love song was introduced in the show by British musical comedy actress Judy Campbell. Lyricist Marvell (real name Eric Maschwitz) apparently composed the words after leaving his great love, Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong (pictured), to return to England. The rarely sung final verse, which contains the phrase, "The song that Crosby sings," was ironically changed when Bing himself first recorded the song.

Lyrics:

A cigarette that bears a lipstick's traces,
An airline ticket to romantic places,
And still my heart has wings--
These foolish things remind me of you.

A tinkling piano in the next apartment,
Those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant,
A fairground's painted swings--
These foolish things remind me of you.

You came, you saw, you conquered me.
When you did that to me,
I knew somehow this had to be.

The winds of March that make my heart a dancer,
A telephone that rings but who's to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings--
These foolish things remind me of you.

The smile of Turner and the scent of roses,
The waiters whistling as the last bar closes,
The song that Crosby sings--
These foolish things remind me of you.

Recorded By:

4 comments:

Pierre Fournier said...

You made my day. I had no idea that the haunting Anna May Wong, of whom I am a lifelong fan, and this beautifully decadent song, a favorite of mine, had a connection. Wonderful!

The lyrics actually go on twice as long as what you’ve posted. There’s lots more after the Crosby line, like: The sigh of midnight trains/At empty stations… Gardenia perfume/Lingering on a pillow… The smile of Garbo/The scent of roses…

As to performers, add Billie Holiday, and I love the roué version by Bryan Ferry.

B-Sol said...

Glad to have made your day, Pierre! Also glad that a fellow horror blogger has crossed into one of my other, newer endeavors!

As to lyrics, as you probably know, many standards have much more lyrics than are commonly known, and its often tough to track down all of them, but I make every effort.

As for Billie, I do believe she may have had the first hit record with the song. And Bryan Ferry's version is the title song of an album of his, is it not?

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for an old musical tor my amateur theater group to do.

Who owns it?

B-Sol said...

I don't the answer, I hope you were able to find it!

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