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Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Is This Thing Called Love?

By Cole Porter
1929

A mournful dirge by the great Porter for the musical Wake Up and Dream, in which it was introduced in London by Elsie Carlisle (pictured). Porter was known for his bouncy, light-hearted highs and desolate lows. This would be an example of the latter, and its soulful, introspective nature made it a natural for the jazz artists who discovered it in the 1930s and beyond. In fact, several jazz compositions, including "Fifth House" by John Coltrane and "Barry's Bop" by Fats Navarro, are based on the chord structure of this song.

Lyrics:

I was a humdrum person,
Leading a life apart.
When love flew in through my window wide,
And quickened my humdrum heart.

Love flew in through my window,
I was so happy then.
But after love had stayed a little while,
Love flew out again.

What is this thing called love?
This funny thing called love?
Just who can solve its mystery?
Why should it make a fool of me?

I saw you there one wonderful day.
You took my heart, and threw it away.
That's why I ask the Lord in heaven above,
What is this thing called love?

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Bill Evans
Coleman Hawkins

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