The Song of the Day for October 19, 2012 is They All Laughed.
About They All Laughed
Last evening, my co-blogger Lesley texted me to tell to turn on NPR for Fresh Air. Michael Feinstein was on, talking about his new book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs.
Towards the end of the interview, he talked about how much Ira loved They All Laughed:
There used to be a famous magazine and newspaper ad that showed a drawing of a man sitting at the piano, and it said above it, ‘They all laughed when I sat down to play the piano.’ And it was an advertisement for a quickie course in how to learn to play the piano, and that phrase, ‘they all laughed,’ was something that stuck in Ira’s head. And he later used it as the inspiration for a love song, and when he played the song for George S. Kaufman — Kaufman hated love songs — and at first Kaufman liked the idea that the lyric was something that was not in reference to romance, and then when it got to the bridge, ‘They laughed at me wanting you,’ he said, ‘Oh, don’t tell me this is another romantic song.’ But that was Ira, who was always trying to find a way of expressing love without saying ‘I love you,’ and that’s why he was so proud of “They All Laughed”.
The Fresh Air interview with Michael Feinstein can be heard here.
They All Laughed was written for the 1937 film, Shall We Dance, and was introduced by Ginger Rogers.
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded this song twice: in 1968 for I’ve Gotta Be Me (released in 1969) and in 1993 for Steppin’ Out. Today’s version is from Steppin’ Out.