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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why Was I Born?

By Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II
1929

The Kern/Hammerstein musical Sweet Adeline was a part of the 1920s nostalgia fad for the "Gay '90s", i.e. the last decade of the 19th century. Broadway legend Helen Morgan (pictured) introduced this classic torch song in the production, and it was also sung by Irene Dunne in the 1935 film version. Truly a ballad of great power.

Lyrics:

Spending these lonesome evenings
With nothing to do,
But to live in dreams that I make up,
All by myself.
Dreaming that you're beside me,
I picture the prettiest stories,
Only to wake up,
All by myself

What is the good of me by myself?

Why was I born?
Why am I living?
What do I get?
What am I giving?

Why do I want a thing
I daren't hope for?
What can I hope for?
I wish I knew.

Why do I try
To draw you near me?
Why do I cry?
You never hear me.

I'm a poor fool,
But what can I do?
Why was I born
To love you?

Recorded By:

Maude Maggart
Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Billie Holiday
Vic Damone

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