"Days of Wine and Roses" is a popular song, from the 1962 movie of the same name.
The music was written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. They received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for their work. The song is composed of only two sentences, one for each stanza. The melody is vaguely based on "Auld Lang Syne".
The best-known recording of the song was by Andy Williams in 1963, but several other recording artists have also recorded the song, including Perry Como, composer Henry Mancini and Wes Montgomery (1963: Boss Guitar) and Lenny Breau. Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded their version of this song on their Pablo Records album Easy Living. The song has become a jazz standard.
Williams' version was recorded for Columbia Records. It was released as catalog number 42674. The song reached #9 on the adult contemporary chart and #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was the featured track of an album by Williams of the same name, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Como's version was recorded for RCA Victor Records. The recording was made on March 19, 1963. The record was issued by RCA Victor as a track on the album, The Songs I Love.
Mancini's version was also recorded for RCA Victor. It was released as catalog number 47-8120. (#33 pop, #10 easy listening; listed by Chartmasters as one of the Top 100 songs of 1963.)
On the Cash Box chart, where all singles were combined together, the song reached a peak position of #30 in May 1963.
R&B/soul singer Miki Howard recorded a cover version for her 2008 album, Private Collection.
The phrase "days of wine and roses" is originally from the poem "Vitae Summa Brevis" by the English writer Ernest Dowson (1867–1900):
- They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
- Out of a misty dream
- Our path emerges for a while, then closes
- Within a dream.
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