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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You Are Too Beautiful

By Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
1933

This fittingly beautiful tune was written by Rodgers & Hart for the obscure early talkie Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, in which it was sung by the film's star, the great Al Jolson. The picture was an infamous flop for Jolson, and led to his three-picture deal with United Artists being cut short at only one. Nevertheless, the depression-era musical has a great deal of odd charm for those who love pre-code '30s cinema, with this song being a big part of it.

Lyrics:

Like all fools, I believed
What I wanted to believe.
My foolish heart conceived
What foolish hearts conceive.
I thought I found a miracle,
I thought that you'd adore me,
But it was not a miracle,
It was merely a mirage before me.


You are too beautiful, my dear, to be true,
And I'm too drunk with beauty.
Drunk with a feeling that
The arms that possess you
Really caress you, too.
You are too beautiful for one man alone,
One lucky fool to be with,
When there are other men
With eyes of their owm to see with.

Love cannot stand sharing,
Not if one cares.
You won't be comparing
My ev'ry kiss with theirs.

You know I care and
I'll be faithful to you,
And through a sense of duty.
You are too beautiful,
And I am too drunk with beauty.

["I am too drunk with beauty" later changed to the tamer "I am a fool for beauty"]

Recorded By:

Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane
Frank Sinatra
Oscar Peterson
Sonny Rollins
Thelonious Monk

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