Lyrically Evocative (28)

I wasn’t born until 1952, so a song written in 1935 might be considered to be an unusual inclusion in this series.

But I knew various versions of this song in my early teens, and by the time I was in my mid-thirties, I was certainly relating to every line.

Originally performed on the BBC Radio in 1936, the song was later recorded by the wonderful Billie Holiday, who had a huge hit with it. Although a 1936 recording by the famous ‘Hutch’ also got some attention.

Over the following decades, it was recorded by almost every famous singer you could think of. Including Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Sam Cooke.
Even now, at the age of 67, it sends shivers up my spine when I hear it.
I have chosen the much later recording by Brian Ferry, from 1973.

His rather melancholy tone, and deliberately stylised rendition, seems to suit the song perfectly.

Here are the lyrics.

Oh! Will you never let me be?
Oh! Will you never set me free?
The ties that bound us
Are still around us
There’s no escape that I can see
And still those little things remain
That bring me happiness or pain
A cigarette that bears a lipstick’s traces
An airline ticket to romantic places
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you
A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant
A fair ground’s painted swings
These foolish things remind me of you
You came you saw you conquer’d me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow this had to be
The winds of March that make my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who’s to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings!
These foolish things remind me of you
First daffodils and long excited cables
And candle lights on little corner tables
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you
The park at evening when the bell has sounded
The “Ile de France” with all the gulls around it
The beauty that is Spring’s
These foolish things remind me of you
How strange how sweet to find you still
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me
The sigh of midnight trains in empty stations
Silk stockings thrown aside dance invitations
Oh, how the ghost of you clings!
These foolish things remind me of you
Gardenia perfume ling’ring on a pillow
Wild strawb’ries only seven francs a kilo
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you
The smile of Garbo and the scent of roses
The waiters whistling as the last bar closes
The song that Crosby sings
These foolish things remind me of you
How strange how sweet to find you still
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me
The scent of smould’ring leaves, the wail of steamers
Two lovers on the street who walk like dreamers
Oh, how the ghost of you clings!
These foolish things remind me of you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Stanley / Peter Stewart Wiggs / Sarah Cracknell

And here is Bryan, performing the song.

Still heartbreaking.

31 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (28)

      1. I thought you getting into songs is because you got romance fever. It’s very common in boys whose name is Pete and is the owner of ollie named dogs. I heard it. It’s actually pretty nice. But think once again maybe you got romance fever. 😈😜

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No, you need to go to Juliet’s father to get cured. That guy hated romance. 😤😤 I couldn’t watch the movie without huffing and puffing at his stupidity. 😤😡 man, Shakespeare wrote some good amount of drama. 😂 have you watched Romeo and Juliet?

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I seem to know all sorts of songs from before I was born. My grandfather had a vast record collection and my mother played all different music too. I have memorized many from listening. Most amusing always as a kid was Gilbert and Sullivan. I love the song you featured here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was around 13 years old, I started to look back at the songs of the 20s and 30s. My Dad worked in the record business, so I had easy access. This song became a huge favourite of mine, as did ‘Anything Goes’, and most of the Astaire/Rogers songbook too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great song but a poor rendering I much prefer Sinatra.
    It is a lyric of obsession and story goes that Eric Maschwitz
    the author had an extramarital affair with the cabaret singer
    Jean Ross.
    How human obsession is and it grips us even from the distant past and just needs a little trigger to set it in motion.
    Unlike animals we humans can project backwards and forwards in time , some claim it explains the common fear of death.

    Liked by 1 person

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