The song of the day for Thursday, March 17, 2016 is “Old Devil Moon.”
About This Song
“Old Devil Moon” was written Burton Lane, with lyrics from Yip Harburg, for the 1947 musical Finian’s Rainbow, which also gave us “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” While Alec Wilder was no fan of “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”, in America Popular Song, he praises “Old Devil Moon” as “a well-written, wholly convincing song. It drives, and its initial intensity is sustained throughout.” Far be from me to argue with Alec Wilder when it comes to American popular music.
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded “Old Devil Moon” several times. Today I chose his 1967 version from Tony Makes It Happen! The arrangement by Marion Evans is superb and Bennett is in wonderful voice. Listen in at 1:25 into the song as he holds the word ‘love’ for what seems like forever. The orchestra is really wonderful; I especially enjoy the cascade of violins at the opening.
One thing I love about Tony Bennett is how open he is about the joy he finds when he sings. You can hear him chuckle several times during this recording. He sounds great, he’s having a good time and he gives us that little laugh. You really can’t beat that.
“Old Devil Moon,” as well as Tony Makes It Happen!, is available from iTunes.