The other day, David proclaimed that Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are" is the greatest of all love songs and Jill Alexander Essbaum asked why. David played a Sinatra cover from 1944 and Stacey searched vainly for the "Broadway Showstoppers" album that John McGlinn put together, which features a full operatic version of the song, verse and all, as it would be presented theatrically. But Jill's question lingered in the air. Jamie Katz talked about how the changes in the song held a great appeal for jazz musicians, something you couldn't say about "Some Enchanted Evening," for example. David talked about the soaring melody, the changes in key and the range that make the song so challenging to a singer. Stacey talked about how the lyrics expressed longing and epitomized the poem in praise of one's sought-for partner. Laura Orem recalled that Oscar Hammerstein wasn't very proud of the inversion toward the end: "Someday I'll know that moment divine / when all the things you are are mine" -- the inversion was forced on him by the rhyme. David remembered reading that Hammerstein fan Stephen Sondheim preferred the same songwriters' "The Song Is You" perhaps for that reason. We sat and we talked and we listened and we hope you will listen to -- two versions below -- and weigh in with your opinion. Leaving superlatives aside, since they are there to emphasize a point and not as statements that can be logically verified, what makes "All the Things You Are" a consummate example of the romantic love song in the great American songbook?
If you listen to Barbara Streisand's interpretation, you will hear the introductory verse Sills and Forrest leave out.