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Friday, February 27, 2009

In a Sentimental Mood

By Duke Ellington, Irving Mills & Manny Kurtz
1935

Composed as a jazz instrumental by Ellington, the song had lyrics added by Mills and Kurtz later on. Ellington's own orchestra naturally made the first recording, but the origin of the song can reportedly be found in an after-hours party at which Ellington and company were present. To quell an argument that had broken out, Duke spontaneously broke into the tune on the spot.

Lyrics:

In a sentimental mood,
I can see the stars come through my room,
While your loving attitude
Is like a flame that lights the gloom.

On the wings of every kiss
Drifts a melody so strange and sweet.
In this sentimental bliss,
You make my paradise complete.

Rose petals seem to fall.
It's all I could dream to call you mine.
My heart's a lighter thing
Since you made this night a thing divine.

In a sentimental mood,
I'm within a world so heavenly,
For I never dreamt that you'd be loving sentimental me.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Billy Joel
John Coltrane
Art Tatum
Stan Getz

2 comments:

Howard said...

To the best of my knowledge (and I'd welcome correction), the only song lyric to which Irving Mills contributed was "Diga-diga-doo." (There is, by the way, a hellacious recording of the Ellington band, under a different name, playing Diga-Diga-Doo with Mills on vocals. Jabbo Smith is playing trumpet, in the chair normally occupied by Bubber Miley.)

In any event, Mills was a song publisher who would publish songs by Black composers only if they would agree to list him as lyricist or co-composer. Mills appears as a co-composer or lyricist on songs by Ellington, Waller, Henderson, and countless others.

Of course, my information may be out of date, but I highly doubt that Irving Mills contributed to each and every song he was credited for. And I'd be astonished to find out that Mr. Diga-diga-doo had anything to do with "In a Sentimental Mood" beyond signing the checks.

B-Sol said...

You're probably right about this, but unfortunately there's no way to know for sure. This practice did go on very often.

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