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Sunday Song Lyric:
Some American songwriters had an uncanny ability to write nearly timeless songs. Among them, Hoagy Carmichael was one of the greatest. Hoagy wrote many classics, including "The Nearness of You," "Georgia on My Mind," and "Washboard Blues," but his most famous song was "Stardust."

With lyrics by Mitchell Parish, "Stardust" became an American standard. Artists who hit the charts with it include Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong. It's probably only a matter of time before someone else makes a splash with it again. So here are the lyrics:
And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that were apart

You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
A paradise where roses bloom
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of loves refrain
Fun Wiki facts: Hoagy Carmichael also had a career as an actor, and Ian Fleming sometimes described James Bond as looking like Hoagy with a scar across his face.
Bottomfish (mail):
At the risk of becoming massively unpopular, I declare that most song lyrics should not be set down in print by themselves. However affecting the tune, the words are trite. How is it that so many people here know so much more about the law than I do but don't get it?
10.8.2006 10:05am
donaldk:
I don't wuite see it that way, maybe because when I read the words the music plays in my head along with it. Even so, Parish's rhyme scheme by itself strikes me as very good versification.
10.8.2006 10:13am
Bottomfish (mail):
Try this, from



There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding

Nights are growing very lonely,
Days are very long;
I'm a-growing weary only
List'ning for your song.
Old remembrances are thronging
Thro' my memory.
Till it seems the world is full of dreams
Just to call you back to me.

Chorus:
There's a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams:
There's a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true;
Till the day when I'll be going down
That long, long trail with you.

All night long I hear you calling,
Calling sweet and low;
Seem to hear your footsteps falling,
Ev'ry where I go.
Tho' the road between us stretches
Many a weary mile.
I forget that you're not with me yet,
When I think I see you smile.

Chorus:
There's a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams:
There's a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true;
Till the day when I'll be going down
That long, long trail with you.

This was an extremely popular song of the doughboys marching off to WW I. As in Stardust, the language is trite but the emotion is better acted out so to speak. One has the feeling that those were the days of real men.
10.8.2006 11:22am
markm (mail):
After reading Johnathon's last paragraph, I had to find a good picture: http://www.hoagy.com/bio_short.htm
10.8.2006 11:33am
Anonymous Jim (mail):
As an IU law grad, I appreciate any opportunity to brag on one of ours.
10.8.2006 12:04pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
hell, I was hoping to devastate everyone with my knowledge of Hoagy in a Flintstone's episode, but I got "Wikied".

Willie Nelson had a good run of luck with "Stardust".
10.8.2006 12:12pm
Q the Enchanter (mail) (www):
Expanding on Bottomfish's remark, there's an additional problem with the lyrics of the Tin Pan Alley songsmiths and that ilk, in that often the songs are set pieces in a show. As such, they lack not only the immediate melodic context but also the broader relation to plot. (No so much a problem with lyrics like Stardust, which is pretty stand-alone.)

BTW, another fun fact (for readers of this blog, anyway) about Carmichael: He studied law for a time, but eventually decided music was more his bag. (Like I used to say in law school, if this law thing doesn't work out, you always have music to fall back on.)
10.8.2006 1:49pm
Q the Enchanter (mail) (www):
Sorry I missed your comment Anonymous Jim. However, superfluity does not vitiate. See California Code ยง 3537.
10.8.2006 1:53pm
dearieme:
"the meadows of my heart": unfortunately, this immediately makes me think of "One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow....". Anyway, do you know Sudhalter's lovely book "Lost Chords"? It's got a lot about Carmichael and early jazz.
10.8.2006 4:05pm
BT:
"I'M A CRANKY OLD YANK, IN A CLANKY OLD TANK, ON THE STREETS OF YAKAHAMA WITH MY HONOLULU MAMA, DOIN THOSE BEAT-O, BEAT-O, FLAT ON MY SEAT-O, HIROHITO BLUES." A song written by Hoagy and for many years (which may still be the case)according to the Guiness Book of World Records, was the song with the longest title ever published. Also his bio "Sometimes I Wonder..." was really a fun read.
10.8.2006 6:10pm
Hattio (mail):
hmmm. I haven't counted letters, but wouldn't Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In a Cave and Grooving With a Pict come close for length? Guess not, now that I look at it written out.
10.8.2006 9:35pm
byomtov (mail):
No doubt.

"Stardust" is one of the greatest American songs ever.

It's interesting (and discouraging?) how few people know that Carmichael wrote "Georgia on my Mind."

And don't forget "Skylark."
10.9.2006 12:16pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
The Faces with Rod Stewart had a No. 12 hit on Billboard with:

You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog
For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any
Other Domestic Shortcomings)

Carmichael is a favorite of mine. His songwriting and his acting both seemed completely natural and effortless. (He's particularly good in To Have and Have Not, and in The Best Years of Our Lives). My favorite of the lesser known songs is Two Sleeply People. I think of him as being purely american, and a bit rural. In some ways he is the complete flip side of Cole Porter, and just as good.
10.9.2006 6:59pm
martyb:
can anyone post an mp3 link to stardust?
10.10.2006 8:18pm