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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Cover the Waterfront

By Johnny Green & Edward Heyman
1933

Journalist Max Miller's 1932 book I Cover the Waterfront was an instant hit, filled as it was with Miller's captivating reminiscences of the San Diego waterfront from his days on the San Diego Sun. The book proved so popular that just a year later, it had inspired both a pop song and a movie, made independently of each other (although Reliance Pictures had the foresight to include the tune in its Claudette Colbert vehicle). A heap of artists recorded it that first year, with the initial hit belonging to Joe Haymes' orchestra.

Lyrics:

Away from the city that hurts and knocks,
I'm standing alone by the desolate docks.
In the still and the chill of the night
I see the horizon, the great unknown.
My heart has an ache,
Its as heavy as stone.
With the dawn coming on, make it last.

I cover the waterfront.
I'm watching the sea.
Will the one I love
Be coming back to me?

I cover the waterfront,
In search of my love.
And I'm covered
By a starlit sky above.

Here am I,
Patiently waiting.
Hoping and longing--
Oh, how I yearn.
Where are you?
Are you forgetting?
Will you remember?
Will you return?

Will the one I love
Be coming back to me?

Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Eddy Duchin
Sam Cooke
Louis Armstrong
Lester Young, Nat Cole & Buddy Rich

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