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Friday, January 30, 2009

Sophisticated Lady

By Duke Ellington, Irving Mills & Mitchell Parish
1932

The epitome of all that was once classy about popular music, and is no longer. Ellington & Mills originally wrote it as a stand-alone melody, with the title referring to the Duke's memories of his old grade school teachers, who taught in the winter and vacationed in Europe, which to him "spelled sophistication." When Parish added the lyrics later, Ellington described them as "wonderful--but not entirely fitted to my original conception."

Lyrics:

They say into your early life romance came,
And in this heart of yours burned a flame,
A flame that flickered one day and died away.

Then, with disillusion deep in your eyes,
You learned that fools in love soon grow wise.
The years have changed you, somehow.
I see you now...

Smoking, drinking, never thinking of tomorrow, nonchalant.
Diamonds shining, dancing, dining with some man in a restaurant.
Is that all you really want?

No, sophisticated lady,
I know you miss the love you lost long ago,
And when nobody is nigh, you cry.

Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Thelonious Monk
Art Tatum
Sarah Vaughan

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