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The Melody Lingers On: My Romance

Tony Thornton tells of a magical night when a couple danced on and on to the same tune, alone on the floor, the music expressing their deep, engulfing love for one another.

Tony’s wonderful columns succeed in expressing in words the everlasting enchantment of the greatest popular tunes and songs. For a feast of good reading that is sure to make you hum, whistle or sing click on The Melody Lingers On in the menu on this page.

The ‘list’ song is popular with songwriters. They use the items in a list to express love and affection. Good examples are: You’re The Top (Cole Porter), These Foolish Things (Holt Marvell), and You Belong To Me (Chilton Price).

I found my favourite list song when we (the trio) were playing in this swish nightclub. One evening I noticed this young couple dancing close together – they were obviously so much in love. During a break, they came over and asked us to play My Romance. We played it as a soft beguine and as I followed the words, I saw how Lorenz Hart switched the idea around by deeming the list unnecessary. Yet this made the words all the more relevant, especially to the young dancers.

By halfway, I knew how the song would end, but the predictability didn’t diminish the charm of the lyric.

The couple smiled their thanks and danced on. Later, they came over and asked us to play it again. We did – this time as a slow foxtrot. Sometime later they asked again – so we played it as a waltz, which seemed to work okay.

By this time the dance floor was thinning out but these two were dancing the night away. They came over again and made an astonishing request – would we play My Romance repeatedly until closing time.

Now, whenever I hear the song, I picture the two lovers dancing alone on the floor.

The other dancers had sat down – they could see that something special was happening. We were entranced too as we worked the Richard Rogers melody into every rhythm we could think of.

For the last spellbound hour, the people in the room captured the moment each in their own way – knowing it could never happen again. But it had to end. And as we left, no one spoke to break the spell – Rogers and Hart had said it all.

It was an evening that gave a new meaning to the expression: ‘they’re playing our song’.

My Romance

My romance
Doesn't have to have a moon in the sky
My romance
Doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by
No month of May, no twinkling stars
No hide away, no soft guitars

My romance
Doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
Nor a dance
To a constantly surprising refrain
Wide awake, I can make my most
Fantastic dreams come true
My romance
Doesn't need a thing but you


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