Sunday Song Lyric:

In the late 1940s, Miles Davis organized a nine-person band to record some tracks for Capitol Records. The tracks had a different sound than the be-bop that was dominating jazz at the time, and are credited with helping to launch "cool jazz." Indeed, several of the sessions, mostly recorded in 1949 and 1950, were compiled for the album Birth of the Cool.

Featuring Gerry Mulligan, Max Raoch and Lee Konitz, among others, perofrming Gil Evans arrangements, this is one of Miles Davis' many great albums. It is also one of the few to feature a vocal performance, James van Heusen and Edgar DeLange's "Darn that Dream" (although this track was not added until later printings of the album). The song was also recorded by many others, including Billie Holiday, and is today's Sunday Song Lyric.

Darn that dream
I dream each night
You say you love me and hold me tight
But when I awake and you're out of sight
Oh, darn that dream

Darn your lips and darn your eyes
They lift me high above the starry skies [moonlit sky]
Then I tumble out of paradise
Oh, darn that dream

Darn this [that] one track mind of mine
It can't understand that you don't care
Just to change the mood I'm in
I'd welcome a nice old nightmare

Darn that dream
And bless it too
Without that dream I'd never would have you
But it haunts me and it won't come true
Oh, darn that dream

UPDATE: I've corrected the lyrics to reflect how they are actually sung on "Birth of the Cool," as oppose to how they were sung by others. Thanks to readers for the corrections.
Is it just me or does that song feature the worst vocals ever? BOTC is of course a classic, but I cannot stand that song. It sounds like someone deliberately singing as badly as possible.
10.1.2006 11:34am
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
CEB - I agree that Kenny Hagood's vocal performance on Birth of the Cool is among the worst recorded versions of that song (and he was never one of my favorite vocalists). But as sung by Billie Holliday and others, it is a classic.
10.1.2006 12:00pm
Grover Gardner (mail):
I vote for Mildred Bailey!
10.1.2006 1:34pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
apropos of nada, following minimal research, it appears only three vocalists recorded with Miles Davis-

Bob Dorough

Kenny Hagood

Sarah Vaughan
10.1.2006 2:51pm
steve k:
The line is "Darn your lips and darn your eyes/
They lift me high above the moonlit skies." There is simply no way a pre-rock lyricist would do something as horrendous as rhyming "eyes" with "sky." (Also, in the Miles Davis version, it's "starry," not "moonlit.")

By the way, I love that vocal.
10.1.2006 3:08pm
My favorite version of Darn That Dream is Dexter Gordon's on "One Flight Up." Amazing.

Trivia question: What are the other tracks on which Miles Davis was recorded alongside a singer? In his albums as leader, the only other one that comes to mind is "Nothing Like You" on The Sorcerer.
10.1.2006 10:54pm
johnshade1 (mail):
Miles also made a rare appearance as a sideman on a Shirley Horn record, but I can't remeber the title off-hand.
10.2.2006 12:03pm
johnshade1 (mail):
The Shirley Horn record was "You Won't Forget Me."
10.2.2006 12:08pm
Gumbey (mail) (www):
Some people even like the way Tom Waits sings!
10.2.2006 9:25pm
If you like it, you might be interested in the rearranged suite from Birth of the Cool on Joe Lovano's recent album.
Re: Miles and vocalists, by the way, he played (uncredited) on Laura Nyro's very jazz-inflected Eli and the 13th Confession.
10.3.2006 11:49am
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
" he played (uncredited) on Laura Nyro's very jazz-inflected Eli and the 13th Confession."

and, credited, on "Sun City", on the "Artists Against Apartheid" album, with everyone from Lou Reed, Springsteen and Van Zandt to RunDMC, Bono, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, Nona Hendrix etc.

Also Hermito Pascoal does wordless vocals in various places on the non-live cuts of "Live/Evil"

Re: Bob Dorough Kenny Hagood and Sarah Vaughan; appaently Miles' almost perfect ability to pick band members and get them to do what he wanted did not extend uniformly to vocalists, since the first two are among the worst Miles Davis recordings ever. . .
10.4.2006 8:29pm