LeePeggy Lee’s recording of the Hammerstein-Kern song (written in 1937) was included on her album The Man I Love, conducted by Frank Sinatra. I’m no fan of sentiment in songs or musicals, and this should be a sentimental song – it’s a variation of the “love lasts forever” theme, with the singer looking ahead to imagine a perfect future with a perfect partner, in a perfect home. But the idealization is tinged, at least to my ears, by the hints of darkness in Nelson Riddle’s beautiful arrangement – moody string introduction, lonely trumpet, solo clarinet dropping down the scale and pizzicato strings in the second verse. And then the bridge (“our veranda will command a view”) fading down to nothing and the rhythm stopping altogether before the third verse eventually starts up again. By now the tone is more one of regret over the passing of youth rather than contentedness: “And when the kids grow up and leave us, We’ll sit and look at the same old view, Just we two. Darby and Joan, who used to be Jack and Jill.” And we’re left at the end with the lonely trumpet.

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