The song of the day for Thursday, January 8, 2015 is “Thou Swell.”
About This Song
“Thou Swell” was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the 1927 musical A Connecticut Yankee, based on the Mark Twain novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. “Thou Swell” is one of more charming songs from the musical, as the lyrics feature a combination of modern and medieval language: “thine eyes are cute too” and “I’d feel so rich in a hut for two.”
About This Version
One of the first projects that Tony Bennett did on his Improv label in the 1970s after leaving Columbia was to get together with The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet to sing the songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The quartet, which featured Braff on cornet, Barnes and Wayne Wright on guitar and John Guiffrida on bass was, to say the least, an unusual combo — no piano! no drums! — but they were the perfect group for Tony’s voice and these songs. Released on two different albums, I believe that these songs represent Tony Bennett at his very, very best. Every single song is perfect. And none more so than this favorite song of mine: “Thou Swell.”
It’s no secret to my readers that there are some songs and albums of Tony Bennett that I love with a passion: “The Rules of the Road,” the live recording of the concert at Carnegie Hall, and just about anything by Rodgers and Hart. It’s been a while since I did one of their songs; I hope you enjoy it!
“Thou Swell,” as well as all the albums recorded on the Improv label, is available from iTunes.