The song of the day for Monday, August 5, 2013 is “But Beautiful.”
About This Song
I said last week that couldn’t resist a Jimmy Van Heusen song and that goes double when the song is “But Beautiful.” Written with lyricist Johnny Burke, “But Beautiful” was written for the Bing Crosby – Bob Hope 1947 movie The Road To Rio, where it was introduced by Bing Crosby. It’s one of those songs where both the lyric and the tune are exemplary. Burke starts off by exploring the concept love in a series of contrasting emotions: “funny or sad,” “quiet or mad,” “tearful or gay” and so on, but concluding with “but beautiful.” And indeed in a love song for adults, those contrasts almost always exist.
“But Beautiful” is one of Van Heusen’s most popular songs, with recordings by Tex Beneke, Nat King Cole, Johnny Hartman and Billie Holiday. It was a favorite instrumental for Bill Evans.
About This Version
Today’s version is from the first of two albums that Tony Bennett made with Bill Evans: the 1975 The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album. It’s a remarkable song on a remarkable album from two remarkable musicians.
“But Beautiful,” as well as The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album, is available from iTunes.