Saturday, April 25, 2009

#82: I Thought About You

And every stop that we made,
Oh, I thought about you
When I pulled down the shade
Then I really felt blue
I peeked through the crack,
Looked at the track
The one going back to you
And what did I do?
I thought about you

In 1939, composer Jimmy Van Heusen played this soaring melody for Johnny Mercer, who was leaving that evening for Chicago. He rode the Denver Zephyr and mined the trip for inspiration, producing a lyric full of longing. The imagery is classic Mercer, putting us right in the car and cinematically taking us step by step -- from being alone, to spying a sliver in the floor of the car exposing the speeding track, back to "you." Mercer and Van Heusen generally worked with other musicians, but they had a magical moment in "I Thought About You." I'm told that the original artist, Mildred Bailey, performed this memorably, but I can't find a recording on the Web, so Sinatra will be her stand-in.

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