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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Learnin' the Blues

By Delores Silver
1954

The song that would become Sinatra's biggest hit of the 1950s has a very mysterious back story. Written by 25-year-old amateur songwriter Silver (real first name Vicki), it was first recorded as a demo by local Philadelphia crooner Joe Valino. Silver would then send that demo to Frank, who selected it and made her an offer to publish the song through his own company, Barton. Valino would later claim to have been muscled out, and prevented from recording the song himself. In any event, a true Sinatra signature tune that has become a standard.

Lyrics:

The tables are empty - the dance floor's deserted
You play the same love song - it's the tenth time you've heard it
That's the beginning - just one of the clues
You've had your first lesson - in learnin' the blues

The cigarettes you light - one after another
Won't help you forget her - and the way that you love her
You're only burnin' - a torch you can't lose
But you're on the right track - for learnin' the blues

When you're at home alone, the blues will taunt you constantly
When you're out in a crowd, the blues will haunt your memory

The nights when you don't sleep - the whole night you're cryin'
But you can't forget her - soon you even stop tryin'
You'll walk that floor - and wear out your shoes
When you feel your heart break - you're learnin' the blues

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Michael Buble
Lou Rawls
Rosemary Clooney
Frank Sinatra

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