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Sunday, August 31, 2008

September Song

By Kurt Weill & Maxwell Anderson
1938


German composer Weill wrote this for the Broadway musical Knickerbocker Holiday, in which it was introduced with a haunting rendition by Walter Huston (Angelica's grandpa). A tender expression of both regret and urgency no doubt better appreciated as one ages, "September Song" is--in this blogger's opinion--truly one of the most beautiful entries in the Great American Songbook. The great Woody Allen film Radio Days features an especially poignant instrumental version.

Lyrics:

When I was a young man courting the girls,
I played me a waiting game.
If a maid refused me with tossing curls,
I'd let the old Earth make a couple of whirls,
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls.
And as time came around, she came my way.
As time came around, she came.

When you meet with the young girls early in the Spring,
You court them in song and rhyme.
They answer with words and a clover ring,
But if you could examine the goods they bring,
They have little to offer but the songs they sing,
And the plentiful waste of time of day.
A plentiful waste of time.

Oh, it's a long, long while

From May to December,
But the days grow short

When you reach September.

When the autumn weather

Turns the leaves to flame,
One hasn't got time

For the waiting game.

Oh, the days dwindle down

To a precious few.
September, November--
And these few precious days

I'll spend with you.
These precious days

I'll spend with you.

Recorded By:

Sarah Vaughan
Frank Sinatra
Lou Reed
Willy Nelson
Jimmy Durante

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Call Me Irresponsible

By Jimmy Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn
1963


From the tail end of the "popular standards" era comes this Academy Award-winning tune from the Jackie Gleason vehicle Papa's Delicate Condition, in which it was introduced by the Great One himself. The story goes that it was originally written for Judy Garland to sing at a dinner, as a comic reference to her well-known "issues". Garland wound up later singing the song on her short-lived TV show.

Lyrics:

Call me irresponsible.
Call me unreliable.
Throw in undependable, too.

Do my foolish alibis bore you?
Well I'm not too clever, I just adore you.

Call me unpredictable.
Tell me I'm impractical.
Rainbows I'm inclined to pursue.

Call me irresponsible.
Yes, I'm unreliable.
But it's undeniably true--
I'm irresponsibly mad for you.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Michael Buble
Bobby Darin
Julie London
Jack Jones

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Fall in Love Too Easily

By Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn
1944

A heartbreaking expression of unrequited love, this song was introduced by Frank Sinatra in the classic MGM musical Anchors Aweigh, in which he sings at the piano in a deserted Hollywood Bowl. Sinatra had personally requested that Styne & Cahn write the songs for the film. The duo would team up for another big hit for the Chairman, "Time After Time". Cahn later was the lyricist for Sinatra standards like "Come Fly With Me" and "In the Wee Small Hours".

Lyrics:

I fall in love too easily,
I fall in love too fast.
I fall in love too terribly hard
For love to ever last.

My heart should be well schooled,
‘Cause I’ve been fooled in the past.
But still I fall in love so easily,
I fall in love too fast.

Recorded By:

Chet Baker
Billie Holiday
Jimmy Roselli
Miles Davis
Shirley Horn

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exactly Like You

By Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields
1930

The Busby Berkely Broadway production International Revue produced this standard, as well as "On the Sunny Side of the Street". Harry Richman and Gertrude Lawrence (pictured) introduced the light and infectious number, buoyed by Fields excellent-as-always lyric. The song might have slipped into obscurity were it not for a jazzy version recorded six years later by the Benny Goodman Trio, with Lionel Hampton on vocal.

Lyrics:

I know why I've waited,
Know why I've been blue.
I pray each night for someone
Exactly like you.

Why should we spend some money
On a show or two?
No one plays those love scenes
Exactly like you

You make me feel so grand,
I wanna give the world to you.
You make me understand
Every foolish little dream I'm dreaming,
Every scheme I'm scheming.

I know why my mother
Taught me to be true.
She meant me for someone
Exactly like you.

Recorded By:

Diana Krall
Nina Simone
Louis Armstrong
Tony Bennett & k.d. lang
Ruth Etting

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Isn't It a Pity?

By George & Ira Gershwin
1933

If you ever need proof that popular songs were once written for sophisticated grown-ups, ask yourself when was the last time you heard one that referenced German poetry and philosophy. This brilliant melody and lyric was composed by the Gershwins for the obscure Broadway production Pardon My English, which ran for all of 43 performances. The tune was introduced in the show by George Givot and Josephine Huston.

Lyrics:

Why did I wander,
Here and there and yonder,
Wasting precious time
For no reason or rhyme?
Isn't it a pity? Isn't it a crime?
My journey's ended,
Everything is splendid;
Meeting you today
Has given me a wonderful idea--
Here I stay.
It's a funny thing--
I look at you,
I get a thrill
I never knew.
Isn't it a pity
We never met before?

Here we are at last--
It's like a dream,
The two of us
A perfect team.
Isn't it a pity
We never met before?

Imagine all the lonely years we've wasted.
You with the neighbors,
I at silly labors.
What joys untasted,
You reading Heine,
Me somewhere in China.

Let's forget the past;
Let's both agree
That I'm for you,
And you're for me.
And it's such a pity
We never, never met before.

Imagine all the lonely year's we've wasted,
Fishing for salmon,
Losing at backgammon.
What joys untasted,
My nights were sour,
Spent with Schopenhauer.

Let's forget the past;
Let's both agree
That I'm for you,
And you're for me.
And it's such a pity
We never, never met before.
Recorded By:

Mel Torme

Stacy Kent
Ella Fitzgerald
Cleo Laine
Barbra Streisand

Monday, August 25, 2008

Too Marvelous for Words

By Richard Whiting & Johnny Mercer
1936

Praised often for its sophisticated synchronization of melody and lyrics, this song was composed for the 1937 Warner Bros. musical Ready, Willing and Able, in which it was introduced by Ross Alexander (pictured), who sadly committed suicide before the film was released. The tune was used again ten years later in the Bogey/Bacall flick Dark Passage, in which it was sung by Jo Stafford. Mercer claimed to have been lyrically influenced by Ira Gershwin on this extremely popular standard, which has at least 50 major recordings to its credit.

Lyrics:

I search for phrases,
To sing your praises,
But there aren't any magic adjectives
To tell you all you are.

You're just too marvelous,
Too marvelous for words
Like glorious, glamorous,
And that old standby, amorous.

It's all too wonderful,
I'll never find the words
That say enough, tell enough,
I mean, they just aren't swell enough.

You're much too much,
And just too very very
To ever be in Webster's Dictionary.

And so, I'm borrowing
A love song from the birds,
To tell you that you're marvelous,
Too marvelous for words.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Artie Shaw
Ella Fitzgerald
June Christy
Rosemary Clooney

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Little White Lies

By Walter Donaldson
1930

One of the great composer's solo gems, "Little White Lies" was first recorded by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, with vocals by Clare Hanlon. However, it would take another 18 years before Dick Haymes finally made a hit out of it--taking it all the way to #3 on the charts.

Lyrics:

The moon was all aglow,
And heaven was in your eyes,
The night that you told me
Those little white lies.

The stars all seemed to know
That you didn't mean those sighs,
The night that you told me
Those little white lies.

I try, but there's no forgetting
When evening appears.
I sigh, but there's no regretting,
In spite of my tears.

The devil was in your heart,
But heaven was in your eyes,
The night you told me
Those little white lies.

Recorded By:

Dinah Shore
Stacey Kent
Eartha Kitt
Kay Starr
Mel Torme

Friday, August 22, 2008

Love Me or Leave Me

By Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn
1928

Along with "Makin' Whoopee", this was one of the hit songs produced by the musical comedy Whoopee!, a Florenz Ziegfeld musical comedy of 1928. It was introduced in the show by Ruth Etting (pictured), who made a hit record of it shortly thereafter. She became famous for the song, performing it in later Broadway shows. A 1955 film of her life, in which she was portrayed by Doris Day, was named for the song.

Lyrics:

Love me or leave me,
And let me be lonely.
You won't believe me,
But I love you only.
I'd rather be lonely
Than happy with somebody else.

You might find the night time
The right time for kissing.
Night time is my time
For just reminiscing.
Regretting instead of
Forgetting with somebody else.

There'll be no one,
Unless that someone is you.
I intend to be
Independently blue.

I want you love,
And I don't wanna borrow.
Have it today,
To give back tomorrow.
Your love is my love--
There's no love for nobody else.

Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Nina Simone
Sammy Davis Jr.
Lena Horne
Maude Maggart

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Me, Myself and I

By Irving Gordon, Allan Roberts & Alvin S. Kaufman
1937

Like Fred Astaire, Billie Holiday had the privilege of introducing a great many standards, and this is one of the most charming. It was written by former song parodist Gordon, with lyrics by Roberts and Kaufman, his collaborators at Mills Music, then the largest independent song publisher in the world. Gordon was also responsible for Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable".

Lyrics:

Me, myself and I
Are only loving you.

We all think you’re wonderful, we do.

Me, myself and I
Have just one point of view:
We’re convinced there’s no one else like you.

It can’t be denied dear,
You brought the sun to us,
We’d be satisfied dear,
If you belonged to one of us.

So if you pass me by,
Three hearts will break in two,
‘Cause me, myself and I

Are all in love with you.

Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Benny Goodman
Tony Bennett
Lester Young
Bob Howard

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile

By Max Rich, Charles O'Flynn & Jack Meskill
1931

An irresistible example of the fluffy, light-hearted material cranked out by Tin Pan Alley in the height of the Great Depression, this was the kind of song designed to take people's minds off the woes of daily life. With an infectious tune by Brooklyn native Max Rich and irrepressible words by O'Flynn & Meskill, it was immediately picked up by the sweet-style jazz bands of the day. Warner Bros. featured it prominently in the 1931 cartoon of the same name, and it was brought back some 57 years later in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Lyrics:

Smile, darn ya, smile!
You know this whole world is a good world, after all.
Smile, darn ya, smile!
And right away, watch Lady Luck pay you a call.

Things are never black as they are painted.
Time for you and joy to get acquainted.
So make life worthwhile,
Come on and smile, darn ya, smile!

Recorded By:

The Sunshine Boys
Al Bowlly
Ben Selvin
Sammy Davis Jr.
Abe Lyman & His Californians

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Thought About You

By Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Mercer
1939

Among the first collaborations by Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Mercer, the song came about when Van Heusen played Mercer the music, right before Mercer caught his train to Chicago, where he was appearing on a radio show with Benny Goodman. Inspired by the ride, Mercer wrote the exceptional words to the tune. It would be none other than Goodman, with Mildred Bailey on vocals, who introduced the song in 1939 with a record that went to #17.

Lyrics:

Seems that I read, or somebody said,
That out of sight is out of mind.
Maybe that's so, but I tried to go
And leave you behind, what did I find...

I took a trip on the train,
And I thought about you.
I passed a shadowy lane,
And I thought about you.

Two or three cars
Parked under the stars,
A winding stream.
Moon shining down
On some little town,
And with each beam,
The same old dream.

At every stop that we made,
I thought about you.
But when I pulled down the shade,
Then I really felt blue.

I peeked through the crack,
And looked at the track--
The one going back to you.
And what did I do?
I thought about you.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Nancy Wilson
Diana Krall
Billie Holiday
Johnny Hartman

Sunday, August 17, 2008

River, Stay 'Way from My Door

By Harry Woods & Mort Dixon
1931

From the same duo responsible for "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover" some four years earlier, this Tin Pan Alley ditty was in the then-common sub-genre of "Negro spiritual"-type tunes written by white composers. Ironically, it would be legendary African-American actor/singer Paul Robeson who introduced it with a hit record in 1931.

Lyrics:

You keep goin' your way,
I'll keep goin' my way.
River, stay 'way from my door.

I just got a cabin,
You don't need my cabin.
River, stay 'way from my door.

Don't come up any higher,
I'm so all alone.
Leave my bed and my fire,
That's all I own.

I ain't breakin' your heart,
Don't start breakin' my heart.
River, stay 'way from my door.

Lord, ain't I been faithful?
Ain't I worked, ain't I toiled in the sweat and sun?
Lord, ain't I come to you?
Ain't I come to you and thank you?
Thank you for all the good things you've done?
Listen Lord, I know you made that river,
But won't you please try to remember that you made me?
Oh Lord, can't you hear me pray to you?
Make that river, make that river hear my plea.

No, I ain't breaking your heart,
So don't start breaking my heart.
Oh, river stay away from my door.

Recorded By:

Kate Smith
Frank Sinatra
Charlie Rich
Sammy Davis Jr.
Fiona Apple

Laura

By David Raksin & Johnny Mercer
1945

The haunting melody was written by Raksin as the main theme of Otto Preminger's 1944 film noir classic of the same name, starring Gene Tierney. Preminger had wanted to use "Sophisticated Lady", but Raksin insisted it was wrong. The following year, Mercer added equally haunting lyrics. The song was a major hit, with five top-ten recordings that year alone, the first of which was by Woody Herman. Raksin was reportedly inspired by a "Dear John" letter written to him by his wife.

Lyrics:

You know the feeling of something half remembered?
Of something that never happened, yet you recall it well?
You know the feeling of recognizing someone
That you've never met, as far as you could tell? Well...

Laura
Is the face in the misty light,
Footsteps that you hear down the hall.
The laugh that floats on a summer night,
That you can never quite recall.

And you see Laura
On the train that is passing through.
Those eyes, how familiar they seem.
She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura,
But she's only a dream.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Ella Fitzgerald
Dick Haymes
Julie London
Charlie Parker

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'll See You Again

By Noel Coward
1929

OK, so it's not an American song. I'll be making exceptions from time to time, especially for excellent tunes like this one--a bittersweet gem written by Coward for an operetta aptly titled Bitter Sweet. The musical was filmed twice, the more notable version being a 1940 Nelson Eddy-Jeanette McDonald MGM production which Coward allegedly found so awful it brought him to tears. The song is rare for having an intro that is even longer than its verses. Listen to the Maude Maggart recording below to hear the full lyrics.

Lyrics:

I'll see you again,
Whenever spring breaks through again.
Time may lay heavy between,
But what is mean,
Is past forgetting.

This sweet memory
Across the years will come to me.
Though my world may go awry,
In my heart will ever lie,
Just the echo of a sigh--
Goodbye.

I'll see you again,
Whenever spring breaks through again.
Time has lain heavy between,
But what is mean,
Can leave me never.

Your dear memory,
Throughout my life will come to me.
Though my world has gone awry,
Though the years my tears may dry,
I shall love you 'til I die--
Goodbye.

Recorded By:

Maude Maggart
Frank Sinatra
Glenn Miller
Mario Lanza
Bryan Ferry

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Only Have Eyes for You

By Harry Warren & Al Dubin
1933

The film musical Dames is mainly known for introducing this sweet ballad, as sung by the incomparable Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. It would also be made into a #2 single the same year by bandleader Ben Selvin. But the 1959 doo-wop version by The Flamingos is the one best remembered today. It was included at #157 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (shouldn't that have been "Greatest Records"?).

Lyrics:

My love must be a kind of blind love.
I can't see anyone but you.

Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may be high,
But I can't see a thing in the sky.
I only have eyes for you.

I don't know if we're in a garden,
Or on a crowded avenue.
You are here, and so am I.
Maybe millions of people go by,
But they all dissappear from view,
And I only have eyes for you.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra & Count Basie
Art Garfunkel
The Lettermen
Peggy Lee
Ella Fitzgerald

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan

By Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz
1929

With its catchy tune and lyric, this sophisticated song was written for the Broadway revue The Little Show. It was introduced by Clifton Webb, the actor who would gain great acclaim decades later for his roles in movies like Laura, The Razor's Edge, Cheaper By the Dozen and the "Mr. Belvedere" films. The Little Show also produced the hit song "Can't We Be Friends", written by Kay Swift & Paul James. Fred Astaire would bring the song back nearly 25 years later in The Band Wagon. Trivia note: this tune came to be popularly known as "The Blue Pajama Song".

Lyrics:

I guess I'll have to change my plan.
I should have realized there'd be another man.
I overlooked that point completely,
Until the big affair began.

Before I knew where I was at,
I found myself upon the shelf, and that was that.
I tried to reach the moon,
But when I got there,
All that I could get was the air.
My feet are back upon the ground--
I lost the one girl I'd found.

I guess I'll have to change my plan,
I should have realized there'd by another man.
Why did I buy those blue pajamas,
Before the big affair began?

My boiling point is much too low,
For me to try to be a fly Lothario.
I think I'll crawl right back into my shell,
Dwelling in my personal hell.
I'll have to change my plan around--
I lost the one girl I'd found.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Bobby Darrin
Ella Fitzgerald
Stacey Kent
Tony Bennett

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pick Yourself Up

By Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields
1936

One of so many memorable standards written for Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, this one comes from Swing Time, considered by most to be their finest musical film. Kern & Fields composed all the songs for the movie, including "A Fine Romance" and the Oscar-winning "The Way You Look Tonight".

Lyrics:

Nothing's impossible, I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence, if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired,
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.

Don't you remember the famous men,
Who had to fall to rise again?
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.

Recorded By:

Anita O'Day
Frank Sinatra
Diana Krall
Nat King Cole
Benny Goodman

Friday, August 8, 2008

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

By Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler
1931


Composed for Rhyth-Mania, the first of four Cotton Club revues by Arlen & Koehler, this clever, uptempo tune was introduced on stage by Aida Ward, and first recorded by Cab Calloway (who was also in the show) later in 1931. It has remained a popular standard among jazz performers ever since. Among the other classics the duo wrote for the Harlem hot spot were "Stormy Weather", "I've Got the World on a String", "Ill Wind" and "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues".

Lyrics:

I don't want you,
But I hate to lose you.
You've got me in between
The devil and the deep blue sea.

I forgive you,
'Cause I cant forget you.
You've got me in between
The devil and the deep blue sea.

I ought to cross you off my list,
But when you come a-knocking at my door,
Fate seems to give my heart a twist,
And I come running back for more

I should hate you,
But I guess I love you.
You've got me in between
The devil and the deep blue sea.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Thelonious Monk
George Harrison
Frank Sinatra
Louis Armstrong

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Days of Wine and Roses

By Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer
1962

A late addition to the popular songbook, "Days of Wine and Roses" was written for the Blake Edwards film of the same name (starring Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon), in which it was played by Mancini's orchestra. It won the 1962 Oscar for Best Original Song. And in case you were wondering, the title phrase originates from the 1896 poem "Vitae Summa Brevis" by English writer Ernest Dowson.

Lyrics:

The days of wine and roses
Laugh and run away--
Like a child at play--
Through a meadowland toward a closing door,
A door marked "nevermore,"
That wasn't there before.

The lonely night discloses
Just a passing breeze,
Filled with memories
Of the golden smile that introduced me to
The days of wine and roses, and you.

Recorded By:

Andy Williams
Perry Como
Frank Sinatra
Diana Krall
Nancy Wilson

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dancing in the Dark

By Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz
1931

The greatest and most well-known of the works of Schwartz and Dietz, this one came from their 1931 Broadway revue The Band Wagon, in which it was introduced by John Barker. The original show would be the last time Fred Astaire and his sister Adele would appear together--Astaire appeared instead with the gorgeous Cyd Charisse in the 1953 film version.

Lyrics:

Dancing in the dark,
'Til the tune ends.
We're dancing in the dark,
And it soon ends.
We're waltzing in the wonder
Of why we're here.
Time hurries by, we're here,
And we're gone.

Looking for the light
Of a new love
To brighten up the night.
I have you, love,
And we can face the music together,
Dancing in the dark.

What though love is old?
What though song is old?
Through them we can be young.
Hear this heart of mine,
Wailing all the time.
Dear one, tell me that we're one.

Looking for the light
Of a new love
To brighten up the night.
I have you, love,
And we can face the music together,
Dancing in the dark.

Recorded By:

Fred Astaire
Artie Shaw
Frank Sinatra
Diana Krall
Bing Crosby

Joe Cocuzzo 1937-2008

Standard of the Day recognizes the passing last Wednesday of respected jazz drummer Joe Cocuzzo, the one-time regular drummer for Rosemary Clooney who also played with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry James, Lena Horne, Vic Damone and Peggy Lee. He had recently been appearing regularly with Michael Feinstein, and just finished work on the CD Keely Smith Live at Feinstein's, due out later this year.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me

By Harry Warren & Al Dubin
1932

Written for the classic Warner Bros. musical 42nd Street, the song was first sung by Bebe Daniels in the role of Dorothy Brock. Legend has it the title was inspired by a woman working on the Warner Bros. lot, who was asked why she was still involved with her boyfriend. The lyrics make heavy usage of the popular phraseology of drug addiction, an example of what could be gotten away with in pre-Hayes Code Hollywood.

Lyrics:

Every kiss, every hug,
Seems to act just like a drug--
You're getting to be a habit with me.
Let me stay in your arms,
I'm addicted to your charms--
You're getting to be a habit with me.

I used to think your love was something that I
Could take, or leave alone.
But now I couldn't do without my supply,
I need you for my own.

No, I can't break away,
I must have you every day--
As regularly as coffee or tea.
You've got me in your clutches,
And I can't get free--
You're getting to be a habit with me.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Dick Powell
Mel Torme
Diana Krall
Julie London

Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

By Cole Porter
1944

A classic Porter tune, this ode to parting lovers was written for the unsuccessful Broadway revue The Seven Lively Arts, in which it was introduced by popular big band singer Nan Wynn (best known as the dubbed singing voice of Rita Hayworth in several films.) The earliest hit record of it came from the Benny Goodman Quintet, which also appeared in the original show. In a classic bit of Porter wittiness, when the lyrics mention a change "from major to minor," the chord shifts accordingly.

Lyrics:

Ev'ry time we say goodbye,
I die a little.
Ev'ry time we say goodbye,
I wonder why a little.
Why the gods above me,
Who must be in the know,
Think so little of me,
They allow you to go.

When you're near, theres such an air
Of spring about it.
I can hear a lark somewhere,
Begin to sing about it.
There's no love song finer,
But how strange the change,
From major to minor,
Ev'ry time we say goodbye.

Recorded By:

John Coltrane
Sarah Vaughan
Nina Simone
Annie Lennox
Ella Fitzgerald

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Midnight Sun

By Lionel Hampton, Sonny Burke & Johnny Mercer
1947

The title of this jazz composition is a reference to the phenomenon that takes place in northern Norway for one month during each summer, in which the sun does not fully set, but rather hovers over the horizon through the night. Originally an instrumental by the Hampton Orchestra, this song got its very own lyrics in 1954 when Mercer, hearing the tune on his car radio while motoring down an L.A. freeway, wrote words for it as he drove.

Lyrics:

Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice,
Warmer than the summer night.
The clouds were like an alabaster palace,
Rising to a snowy height.
Each star, its own aurora borealis,
Suddenly you held me tight.
I could see the midnight sun.

I can't explain the silver rain that found me--
Or was that a moonlit vale?
The music of the universe around me,
Or was that a nightingale?
And then your arms miraculously found me,
Suddenly the sky turned pale.
I could see the midnight sun.

Was there such a night?
It's a thrill I still don't quite believe.
But after you were gone,
There was still some stardust on my sleeve.

The flame of it may dwindle to an ember,
And the stars forget to shine.
And we may see the meadow in December,
Icy white and crystalline.
But oh, my darling always I'll remember
When your lips were close to mine.
And we saw the midnight sun.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Jo Stafford
Sarah Vaughan
Lionel Hampton
Carmen McRae

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