Hoagy’s ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’

February 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm (humanism, jazz, Jim D, love, poetry, song)

On 13th or 14th February each year I invariably post a YouTube clip of a love song – all too often ‘My Funny Valentine.’

Well, here’s a different love song: ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well,’ an almost agonisingly poignant number (the lyrics partly contradict the true meaning of the song), described on Wikipedia thus:

I Get Along Without You Very Well” is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1939, with lyrics based on a poem written by Jane Brown Thompson. Thompson’s identity as the author of the poem was for many years unknown; she died the night before the song was introduced on radio by Dick Powell

It was performed last November at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party by the great young US singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, whose performance was captured on video by Michael Steinman of the Jazz Lives blog. Tom “Spats” Langham on guitar, Martin Litton on piano:

I get along without you very well
Of course, I do
Except when soft rains fall
And drip from leaves
Then I recall
The thrill of being sheltered in your arms
Of course, I do
But I get along without you very well

I’ve forgotten you just like I should
Of course, I have
Except to hear your name
Or someone’s laugh that is the same
But I’ve forgotten you just like I should

What a guy
What a fool am I
To think my breaking heart
Could kid the moon
What’s in store
Should I phone once more
No, it’s best that I stick to my tune

I get along without you very well
Of course, I do
Except perhaps in Spring
But I should never think of Spring
For that would surely break my heart in two

What’s in store
Should I phone once more
No, it’s best that I stick to my tune

I get along without you very well
Of course, I do
Except perhaps in Spring
But I should never think of Spring
For that would surely break my heart in two

P.S:

There’s an additional reason for posting that particular clip: very bad news about Mike Durham, the great guy who organises the Whitley Bay event …

5 Comments

  1. Sensorite said,

    Nina Simone did a great version of this song

  2. Jim Denham said,

    So did Tony Bennett with Bill Charlap (piano):

  3. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Also love Chet Baker’s performance:

    • Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      While I actually prefer Billie Holliday’s increasingly ravaged late performances from the 50s to those from her 30s and 40s heyday this version is I think horribly over-arranged (by I presume Nelson Riddle?):

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Billie, it seems, liked lots of strings and highly-arranged settings. I must confess that I prefer her thirties records with Teddy Wilson, Pres, etc.

    But for a love song, this blues with Pres takes some beating; I defy anyone to watch it with a dry eye, especially if they are aware of the Billie/Pres back-story:

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