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Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Beginning to See the Light

By Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Harry James & Don George
1944

With a melody originating in the mind of saxophonist Johnny Hodges (pictured), this song had the benefit of being fleshed out by legendary bandleaders Duke Ellington and Harry James. It was Ellington whose influence can be more easily heard, with his "conversational" style of contrasting melodic phrases. Lyricist George was tapped for the words, which make clever references to all sorts of light imagery. Both Ellington and James recorded it in 1945, but while the Duke's version made it to #6 on the charts, ironically it would be James' rendition that hit the top spot.

Lyrics:

I never cared much for moonlit skies,
I never wink back at fireflies,
But now that the stars are in your eyes,
I'm beginning to see the light.

I never went in for afterglow,
Or candlelight on the mistletoe,
But now when you turn the lamp down low,
I'm beginning to see the light.

Used to ramble through the park,
Shadowboxing in the dark,
Then you came and caused a spark
That's a four-alarm fire now.

I never made love by lantern-shine,
I never saw rainbows in my wine,
But now that your lips are burning mine,
I'm beginning to see the light.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots
Bobby Darin
Michael Buble
Frank Sinatra
Kelly Rowland

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