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September 28, 2009


A terrific song! But if I had to choose, I vote for the Helen Forrest/Artie Shaw version, which is just about perfect - you can hear why, as Jamie said, jazz musicians must love it. Sills has a beautiful voice but is too sweet for my taste. On its own, the lyric goes right up to the edge of sentimentality - but only up to the edge (Hammerstein's genius at work here, despite the "divine"). I feel the extra-sweetness of the Sills' version pushes the whole song over, though. Shaw gives it a subtle tang that enhances it, like the salt on the lip of a margarita glass.

I think one reason why this song is so good is the marriage of Hammerstein's lyric of longing and love and Kern's melody that builds and builds until the ending that, as David said, soars into the stratosphere. In a way, it reminds me of "Nessun Dorma," which, although in a completely different genre and in a different lyrical context, does the same thing.

("Love is Here to Stay" is still my all-time favorite, but this kicks ass, too.)

That could have ben my guitar teacher(and Brian Setzer's as well), Ray Gogarty. Not sure if he recorded with Artie but played with him right out of HS in 36-38ish. And the best of these 2 samples also.

Ray said many musicians said this was the best song ever period.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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