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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

P.S. I Love You

By Gordon Jenkins & Johnny Mercer
1934

No, this is not the Beatles song. Years before the Fab Four were ever born, superb arranger/composer (and future Sinatra collaborator)
Jenkins and ingenious lyricist Mercer would team up to produce this utterly charming song about domestic bliss communicated over long distance. With a lyric that comprises a communication made to a significant other who is away from home, the number has a witty, quaint appeal that's easy to understand. It was introduced by none other than Rudy Vallee, but later enjoyed revivals in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Most recently, the Bobby Vinton version was featured in an episode of Mad Men.

Lyrics:

Dear, I thought I'd drop a line
The weather's cool, the folks are fine
I'm in bed each night at nine
P.S. I love you.

Yesterday we had some rain
But all in all, I can't complain
Was it dusty on the train?
P.S. I love you.

Write to the Browns just as soon as you're able
They came around to call
And I burned a hole in the dining room table
Now let me think, I guess that's all

Nothing else for me to say
And so I'll close, but by the way
Everybody's thinking of you
P.S. I love you.


Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Frank Sinatra
Bing Crosby
The Vogues
Nancy LaMott


5 comments:

axewriter said...

It's a great song, but written for a woman to sing. For my version, I imagined that the man, sent off to boot camp, would reply:

"I'll write the Browns just as soon as they let me.
(That ought to be next fall.)
I think that drill sergeant Bill's out to get me.
Or maybe not: I guess that's all."

Keep up the good work! These songs are gems that should not be forgotten.

B-Sol said...

I agree that the lyrics are better suited to a woman. Interesting that Rudy Vallee was the one to introduce the song!

axewriter said...

The verse . . .

What is there to write, what is there to say?
Same things happen ev’ry day.
Not a thing to write, not a thing to say.
So I take my pen in hand and start the same old way:

. . . suggests the singer has had to stay at home while the one sung to, is far away on an extended absence. It's possible that the man would stay behind—just not the 1934 norm.

But Rudy Vallée was at his peak of popularity then, and it's hard to argue with success!

MaryRC said...

I always thought the lyrics were written for a man. At the time the song was written, it would have been the wife's job to write a social note to the Browns, and as for the hole in the dining room table, probably a cigarette burn. Wives were expected to be a little more careful and house-proud than their careless husbands in those days, and seldom left lit cigarettes on the furniture.

axewriter said...

True, women generally took care of the bread-and-butter letters back then, just as they still do now. But sometimes wives do tell their husbands to write certain letters themselves, such as:

"Write to your mother as soon as you're able.
The baby's learned to crawl."

Also (under the "live and learn" category), setting a hot dish on a wooden table can leave a burn mark, too.

"Dining-room table piled high with your cookin'—
No one will see that burn!"

Naturally, I like my "response" version better (heehee), but I agree that either a man or a woman could sing this song.

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