Jazz, Seasonal, Valentine's Day

Be My Valentine 2015 ~ Torch Songs

This time around, I’ve collected songs of unrequited and lost love. Head over to last year’s list if you prefer a happy love list.

On to the pining, longing, and yearning . . .



Body and Soul

  • Written in 1930
    • Music: Johnny Green
    • Lyrics: Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1957 by Billie Holiday
    • Jimmy Rowles – piano
    • Barney Kessel – guitar
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1939
    • Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone

My days have grown so lonely
For you I cry, for you dear only
Why haven’t you seen it
I’m all for you body and soul


‘Round Midnight

  • Written in 1944
    • Music: Joseph Kosma
    • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prevert
  • Vocal selection released in 1956 by June Christy
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1953
    • Miles Davis – trumpet
    • Charlie Parker – alto saxophone
    • Sonny Rollins – tenor saxophone

Memories always start ’round midnight, ’round midnight
Haven’t got the heart to stand those memories
So when my heart is still with you
Yes ol’ midnight knows it, too


I Can’t Get Started

  • Written in 1935
    • Music: Vernon Duke
    • Lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Vocal selection originally recorded in 1937 by Bunny Berigan (vocal, trumpet)
  • Instrumental selection originally recorded in 1942
    • Lester Young – tenor saxophone
    • Nat King Cole – piano
    • Red Callendar – bass

I’ve been consulted by Franklin D
Greta Garbo has had me to tea
Still I’m broken-hearted
‘Cause I can’t get started with you


Lover Man

  • Written in 1942
    • Music & Lyrics: James Edward Davis, Ram Ramirez, Jimmy Sherman
  • Vocal selection recorded by Sarah Vaughan in 1945
    • Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet
    • Charlie Parker – alto saxophone
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1947
    • Charlie Parker – alto saxophone

The night is cold and I’m so alone
I’d give my soul just to call you my own
Got a moon above me
But no one to love me
Lover man, oh, where can you be


What Is This Thing Called Love

  • Written in 1930
    • Music & Lyrics: Cole Porter
  • Vocal selection released in 1959 by Anita O’Day
    • Billy May – trumpet
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1956
    • Clifford Brown – trumpet
    • Max Roach – drums
    • Sonny Rollins – tenor saxophone

What is this thing called love?
This funny thing called love?
Just who can solve its mystery?
Why should it make a fool of me?
I saw you there one wonderful day
You took my heart and threw my heart away



  • Written in 1933
    • Music: Jerome Kern
    • Lyrics: Otto Harbach
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1961 by Carmen McRae
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1950
    • Bud Powell – piano

Days are new as happy sweet
Sequestered days
Olden days
Golden days
Days of mad romance and love


Autumn Leaves

  • Written in 1947
    • Music: Joseph Kosma
    • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prevert
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1957
    • Duke Ellington – piano
    • Ray Nance – violin
    • Ozzie Bailey – vocal
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1959
    • Bill Evans – piano
    • Scott LaFaro – bass
    • Paul Motian – drums

Since you went way the days grow long,
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When Autumn leaves start to fall


Star Dust

  • Written in 1929
    • Music: Hoagy Carmichael
    • Lyrics: Mitchell Parish
  • Vocal selection recorded by Ernestine Anderson in 1958
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1957
    • Clark Terry – trumpet
    • Johnny Griffin – tenor saxophone

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you


Willow Weep For Me

  • Written in 1932
    • Music & Lyrics: Ann Ronell
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1957
    • Louis Armstrong – vocal, trumpet
    • Oscar Peterson – piano
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1933
    • Art Tatum – piano

Whisper to the wind and say that love’s a sin
To lead my heart a-breaking, and making a moan
Murmur to the night to hide its starry light
So none will find me sighing and crying all alone
Oh, willow weep tree, weep in sympathy
Bend your branches down along the ground and cover me
When the shadows fall, bend ol’ willow and weep for me


The Man I Love

  • Written in 1924
    • Music: George Gershwin
    • Lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1939
    • Billie Holiday – vocal
    • Lester Young – tenor saxopone
    • Joe Sullivan – piano
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1956 by Ray Charles

Someday he’ll come along
The man I love
And he’ll be big and strong
The man I love
And when he comes my way
I’ll do my best to make him stay


These Foolish Things

  • Written in 1936
    • Music: Jack Strachey, Harry Link
    • Lyrics: Eric Maschwitz
  • Female vocal selection released by Ella Fitzgerald in 1957
  • Male vocal selection recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1962
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1952
    • Lester Young – tenor saxophone
    • Oscar Peterson – piano

A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant
A fairground’s painted swings
These foolish things remind me of you


I’ll Remember April

  • Written in 1941
    • Music: Gene De Paul
    • Lyrics: Don Raye, Patricia Johnston
  • Vocal selection released in 1954
    • Dinah Washington – vocal
    • Herb Geller – alto saxophone
    • Harold Land – tenor saxophone
    • Max Roach – drums
    • Clifford Brown – trumpet
  • Instrumental selection recorded 1960
    • Charles Mingus – bass
    • Eric Dolphy – saxophone
    • Bud Powell – piano

I’ll be content you loved me once in April
Your lips were warm and love and spring were new
I’m not afraid of autumn and her sorrow
For I’ll remember April and you


There Will Never Be Another You

  • Written in 1942
    • Music: Harry Warren
    • Lyrics: Mack Gordon
  • Vocal selection released in 1954 by Chet Baker (vocal, trumpet)
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1956
    • Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
    • Leroy Vinegar – bass
    • Lou Levy – piano
    • Stan Levey – drums

There will be other lips
That I may kiss
But they won’t thrill me
Like yours used to do
Yes, I may dream
A million dreams
But how can they come true
If there will never ever
Be another you?


 I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)

  • Written in 1941
    • Music: Duke Ellington
    • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1941
    • Ivie Anderson – vocal
    • Duke Ellington – piano
    • Johnny Hodges – saxophone
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1955
    • Thelonious Monk – piano
    • Oscar Pettiford – bass
    • Kenny Clarke – drums

He don’t love me like I love him
Nobody could
I got it bad
And that ain’t good


Lover Come Back to Me

  • Written in 1928
    • Music: Sigmund Romberg
    • Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Vocal selection recorded by Billie Holiday in 1944
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1957
    • Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
    • Oscar Peterson – piano
    • Herb Ellis – guitar
    • Ray Brown – bass
    • Stan Levey – drums
You came at last
Love had its day
That day is past
You’ve gone away
This aching heart of mine is singing
Lover come back to me


Memories of You

  • Written in 1930
    • Music: Eubie Blake
    • Lyrics: Andy Razaf
  • Vocal selection released 1956
    • Rosemary Clooney – vocal
    • Benny Goodman – clarinet
    • Gene Krupa – drums
    • Teddy Wilson – piano
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1956 by Thelonious Monk (piano)

Here and there, everywhere
Scenes that we once knew
And they all just recall
Memories of you


Stormy Weather

  • Written in 1933
    • Music: Harold Arlen
    • Lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1940
    • Duke Ellington – piano
    • Ivie Anderson – vocal
    • Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1940 by Art Tatum (piano)
Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time
Life is bare, gloom and mis’ry everywhere
Stormy weather
Just can’t get my poor self together
I’m weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time


I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

  • Written in 1938
    • Music: Duke Ellington
    • Lyrics: Irving Mills, Henry Nemo, John Redmond
  • Vocal selection recorded in 1957
    • Ella Fitzgerald – vocal
    • Barney Kessel – guitar
    • Ben Webster – saxophone
    • Stuff Smith – violin
  • Instrumental selection recorded in 1953
    • Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet
    • Stan Getz – saxophone
    • Oscar Peterson – piano
    • Herb Ellis – guitar
    • Ray Brown – bass
    • Max Roach – drums

I let a song go out of my heart
It was the sweetest melody
I know I lost heaven ’cause you were the song

Since you and I have drifted apart
Life doesn’t mean a thing to me
Please come back, sweet music, I know I was wrong


The Man That Got Away

  • Written in 1954
    • Music: Harold Arlen
    • Lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Vocal selection recorded 1954 by Judy Garland
  • Instrumental selection released in 1957 by Oscar Peterson

The night is bitter, 
The stars have lost their glitter, 
The winds grow colder 
And suddenly you’re older, 
And all because of the man that got away. 


Cry Me A River

  • Written in 1953
    • Music & Lyrics: Arthur Hamilton
  • Vocal selection released in 1955 by Julie London
  • Instrumental selection released in 1971 by Sonny Stitt (alto saxophone)

Now you say, you’re sorry
For bein’ so untrue
Well, you can cry me a river, cry me a river
I cried a river over you






  1. Pingback: Be My Valentine 2016 ~ WWII Era Love Songs | LJR MUSIC - January 24, 2016

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