The Song of the Day for October 18, 2012 is Last Night When We Were Young.
About Last Night When We Were Young
Today’s song is a true American masterpiece, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E. Y. (Yip) Harburg in 1935. Arlen considered it one of his personal favorites of his own compositions (the other being One For My Baby). In his book Harold Arlen: Rhythm, Rainbows, and Blues, Edward Jablonski writes that Arlen played the melody for both George Gershwin and Jerome Kern; Gershwin felt it was too complicated and Kern felt it was too esoteric. It was a year later that Yip Harburg wrote the lyrics. While this song may not have been a major hit in the Arlen catalogue, it is to many (including this author) a masterpiece.
Frank Sinatra included the song for his 1954 In The Wee Small Hours. The song was also a favorite of Judy Garland
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded Last Night When We Were Young twice: in 1959 for To My Wonderful One and in 1992 for Perfectly Frank. Today we present the 1992 version.
If you detect a certain bias for Harold Arlen in the selection of songs of the day, all I can say is guilty as charged.
Here’s Harold Arlen singing his own song, from The 1955 Walden Sessions:
As extra treat, here’s Judy Garland singing Last Night We Were Young in 1956 on GE Theatre.
And you haven’t had enough, here is Peggy Lee from Dream Street:
I guess I really like this song a lot.