Just Because Music — Ella Fitzgerald sings Johnny Mercer’s “I remember you”

I just love this song.  I think it has the most beautiful lyrics ever written for an American love song — and who better to do it justice than Ella Fitzgerald?

Honestly, what can be better than this?

I remember, too, a distant bell
And stars that fell,
Like rain out of the blue

When my life is through
And the angels ask to me recall
The thrill of it all,
Then I shall tell them I remember you.

And here’s a luscious bonus version from Nat King Cole:

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  • Caped Crusader

    From much of your music selection, and if you loved to dance, you would have loved being a young adult in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Romantic dance music never matched in my opinion. Hate you missed the experience!

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I love to dance, and I probably would have loved dancing in the 30s through early 60s.  I have very few opportunities in my life now to dance and, in fact, haven’t gone dancing in about three or four years.  I do, however, like to bop around in my office.  I also get my children out of the doldrums by grabbing the iPod and holding dance parties in the kitchen.

  • Caped Crusader

    “Back in the day” most of the famous historic larger city hotels had a rooftop elegant dining room and resident and/or traveling famous guest bands playing nightly for dinner and dancing. After 10-11 PM they were often broadcast over the major radio networks. Spent many nights listening to “Music for your dancing pleasure coming to you from high atop the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans (or the Skyway of Hotel Peabody high above the Mississippi River in Memphis)”. When traveling late at night, easy to hear all over the USA on the old clear channel 50,000 watt blowtorch stations assigned to that frequency exclusively after sundown. Those were the days!

  • Charles Martel

    What a great call, Book. I first heard this song in 1962 when Frank Ifield covered it in a slightly faster beat than the Nat Cole and Ella Fitzgerald versions. Never stopped loving it. I don’t think there’s a sweeter, better song climax than “When my life is through and the angels ask me to recall the thrill of it all, I will tell them I remember, tell them I remember, tell them I remember you.”

  • jj

    I miss nightclubs.  New York, of course, was full of them.  And ballrooms, I guess Roseland was the last of those.  (“Dad would take Mom to Roseland, she’d come home with her shoes in her hands…”  From “A Chorus Line.”  My mother said, “yup.  Many a night.”)  NBC threw a history-making party there in the disco era, but it was a disco then, not the ballroom any more.  Though I suppose it was a miracle it was still there in any form in the 80s.  We had the benefit of having what was perhaps the last working big band in the country left, the NBC Orchestra.  They didn’t just play for “Tonight,” they toured, they made records – that was some collection of musicians, the last of the big band breed I suppose.  No kids, all veterans of the era.  The musical guests would come in early before the show to rehearse, and lots of times it turned into a concert.  It was such a joy for them to look over there and see Skitch, and after him Doc, with guys like Mottola and Grady Tate – people they probably first worked with in something like 1938.  So Peggy Lee – or Ella Fitzgerald, or Nat Cole, or Helen O’Connell, or Lena Horne, or Sinatra or name-your-own – would rehearse the number they planned, and then it would be, “well, how about this one?” and they work out another one, and another one.  They’re just having a great time, because rarely do they get to work with a band like this; and there’d be sixty people in the studio, listening to what had become a concert as Peggy, or Ella or Sarah worked through 75% of their songbook.  The new kids, people like Jaye P. Morgan, Lana Cantrell, etc. knew they’d never get many chances to ever work with an orchestra like that because the nightclubs were gone already, their careers had little-to-no future, so they’d give you a dozen songs just for the joy of being where they were.  Then they’d pick the one for the show – but the best performances were the ones before the taping started.  Extraordinary performances.  Lana Cantrell in jeans and a t-shirt, barefoot, that wonderful husky vibrato you could feel in your shoes, soaring to a crystal-shattering high on “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” a song I don’t think she ever actually recorded, or ever did in her shows.  But she did one day, “rehearsing” with Doc and the boys, singing it like she meant it, tears on her cheeks, Doc inventing a whole little quiet piece at the end (he played, the orchestra came along with him) to give her a minute.  Amazing stuff.  Stuff that doesn’t happen any more.

  • Gringo

    When I linked the Ella video to YouTube, I found a video of  Ella singing “Cry Me a River” juxtaposed with the realistic  paintings of Jacob Collins. While I appreciate Joe Cocker having enough appreciation of past masters to  sing “Cry Me a River,” Ella does a better job.
    Interesting that this Ella video and the Ella “I Remember You” video were put on the web by speakers of Portuguese and Spanish, respectively.
    Disclosure: some of the paintings show frontal nudity- but not most.