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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make Believe

By Jerome Kern
1927

A profoundly moving duet ballad from Kern's Show Boat, usually credited as the first modern Broadway musical. It was introduced on stage by Norma Terris and Howard Marsh (pictured), and also performed to great effect by Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson in the 1951 MGM musical adaptation. It's lyrics, expressed by two people suddenly and spontaneously realizing they are in love with each other, are among the most moving in the Great American Songbook.

Lyrics:

Only make believe I love you,
Only make believe that you love me.
Others find peace of mind in pretending,
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss, or two, or three.
Might as well make believe I love you,
For to tell the truth I do

Your pardon I pray
'Twas too much to say
The words that betray my heart.

We only pretend
You do not offend
In playing a lover's part.
The game of just supposing
Is the sweetest game I know.
Our dreams are more romantic
Than the world we see.

And if the things we dream about
Don't happen to be so,
That's just an unimportant technicality.

Though the cold and brutal fact is
You and I have never met,
We need not mind convention's P's and Q's
If we put our thoughts in practice
We can banish all regret
Imagining most anything we choose.

Only make believe I love you,
Only make believe that you love me.
Others find peace of mind in pretending,
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss, or two, or three.
Might as well make believe I love you,
For to tell the truth I do

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Jo Stafford
Barbra Streisand
Peggy Lee & Patrice Munsel
Deanna Durbin

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