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Saturday, July 10, 2010

One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)

By Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer
1943

Arguably the finest product of the legendary teaming of Arlen and Mercer, two songwriters of equally titanic stature. It has become the all-time classic saloon song, thanks in great part to its iconic interpretation by Frank Sinatra, who turned it into something of a performance piece. However, it was originally written for Fred Astaire, who introduced it in the musical film The Sky's the Limit. It doesn't get any better than Arlen's laconic, smoky melody paired up with Mercer's timeless, aching lyric...

Lyrics:

Its quarter to three,
There's no one in the place, except you and me.
So set 'em up, Joe,
I got a little story I think you oughtta know.

We're drinking my friend
To the end of a brief episode.
So make it one for my baby,
And one more for the road.

I know the routine,
Put another nickel in the machine.
I'm feeling so bad,
Won't you make the music easy and sad?

I could tell you a lot,
But you gotta to be true to your code.
So make it one for my baby,
And one more for the road.

You'd never know it,
But buddy I'm a kind of poet,
And Ive got a lot of things I wanna say.
And if I'm gloomy, please listen to me
Till it's all all talked away.

Well, that's how it goes,
And Joe, I know you're getting anxious to close.
So thanks for the cheer,
I hope you didn't mind
My bending your ear.

But this torch that I found,
Its gotta be drowned,
Or it soon might explode.
So make it one for my baby,
And one more for the road.

Recorded By:

Tony Bennett
Perry Como
Billie Holiday
Frankie Laine
Iggy Pop

3 comments:

emma wallace said...

Oh, I so love this song! This was one of the first songs I learned jazz-style on the piano; the chord changes are just genius.

Miriam said...

I also love this song...and I love your site! Just to let you know that though I generally do not leave a comment, your blog is a daily treat for me!! Thank you so much!

B-Sol said...

Definitely not the easiest song to play, that's for sure Emma. The timing is everything.

And thank you, Miriam, please keep reading! I only wish time would permit me to post more often!

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