Song of the Day #173
Song of the Day: My Funny Valentine, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, is from the 1937 Broadway musical "Babes in Arms," which featured the choreography of George Ballanchine (it was also part of a vastly altered 1959 stage version). The show, without this song as part of its soundtrack, was completely transformed into a 1939 Busby Berkeley movie musical, starring Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and Margaret Hamilton, the villainess, who was also the witch in Garland's 1939 classic, "The Wizard of Oz." Alas, the song has been featured in other films, most notably in "Pal Joey," sung by Kim Novak, and in the homoerotic movie version of Patricia Highsmith's "The Talented Mr. Ripley," where Matt Damon attempts to duplicate the heart-tugging Chet Baker recording. Sample Damon's version here and Baker's version here. The song is also featured on my sister-in-law Joanne Barry's album, "Embraceable You." Ironically, the song is not about "Valentine's Day"; it is about a character in the musical named Valentine. Either way, a Happy Valentine's Day to all. And I'm sending all my love to my friend Mimi, who celebrates her birthday today.