I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

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"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"
music based on Fantaisie-Impromptu by Frédéric Chopin
Introduced in the 1918 Broadway show Oh, Look!
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Published 1917
Language English
Original artist The Dolly Sisters
Recorded by many artists;
see #Recorded versions
First page of sheet music.

"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" is a popular Vaudeville song. The music is credited to Harry Carroll, although the melody is actually adapted from Fantaisie-Impromptu by Frédéric Chopin. The lyrics were written by Joseph McCarthy, and the song was published in 1917 and introduced in the Broadway show Oh, Look! which opened in March, 1918.[1] The song was sung in the show by The Dolly Sisters.[1] Judy Garland sang it in the 1941 film Ziegfeld Girl. It was subsequently sung by Jack Oakie in the 1944 film The Merry Monahans and was again featured in the 1945 film The Dolly Sisters (1945 in film), where it was sung by John Payne.[1] It was also included for part of the run (and in the cast album) of the 1973 revival of Irene.

The song is a true popular standard, recorded by many artists over the years.

Lyrics[edit]

Why have I always been a failure? What can the reason be? I wonder if the world is to blame. I wonder if it could be me.

Im always chasing rainbows, Watching clouds drifting by. My schemes are just like all my dreams, Ending in the sky.

Some fellas look and find the sunshine. I always look and find the rain. Some fellas make a winning some time. I never even make a gain. Believe me,

Im always chasing rainbows, Waiting to find a little bluebird, In vain.

(Lyrics by MetroLyrics)

Recorded versions[edit]

Hit versions in 1918[edit]

The biggest hit version in 1918 was recorded by Charles W. Harrison on July 26, 1918, and released by Victor Records as catalog number 18496A,[1][2]} with the flip side “I Miss That Mississippi Miss That Misses Me”[3])

There were also very popular versions recorded by Harry Fox and by Prince's Orchestra (Columbia catalog number A-6064) in the same year.[1]

Harry Fox's version was recorded April 16, 1918, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2557,[1] with the flip side “I Wonder What They're Doing Tonight”[4])

The Prince's Orchestra (referred to as Prince's Band on [5]) version was recorded July, 1918, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-6064, with the flip side “Oh, Frenchy”)

Hit versions in 1946[edit]

The biggest hit versions in the 1946 revival were by Perry Como, by Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes, and by Harry James's Orchestra with a vocal by Buddy DeVito.[1] There was also a recording by Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians, with a vocal by Erno Rapee, which had a degree pf popularity that year.[1]

The recording by Perry Como was recorded October 17, 1945,[6] and released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1788,[1] with the flip side “You Won't Be Satisfied”.[7] It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on January 24, 1946 and lasted 4 weeks on the chart, peaking at #7;[8] it was re-released by RCA Victor as catalog number 20-2663, with the flip side “If We Can't Be the Same Old Sweethearts”[9]

The recording by Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes was made on November 1, 1945, and released by Decca Records as catalog number 23472,[1] with the flip side “Tomorrow Is Forever”.[10] It reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on January 31, 1946 at #10, its only week on the chart.[8]

The recording by Harry James and his orchestra was made on November 7, 1945, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 36899,[1] with the flip side “Baby What You Do to Me”[11] and as catalog number 38434, with the flip side “I'm Beginning to See the Light[12]

The recording by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians was released by Decca Records as catalog number 3586, with the flip side “Tea for Two[13] and as catalog number 18789A,[1] with the flip side “Make Believe”[14])

Hit versions in the 21st Century[edit]

In the 2014 American romantic comedy Magic in the Moonlight written and directed by Woody Allen, Brice played by Hamish Linklater serenades the song while playing the ukulele. He then declares his love for Sophie, played by Emma Stone, who coyly answers "you mustn't give your heart away so quickly." The scene overlooks the ocean on the coast of Southern France, during the afternoon, in golden sunlight. The film is billed a romantic comedy. Latter we find Stanley, played by Colin Firth also declaring his love for Sophie and asking her: "Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with a man who plays the ukelele and croons to you?"

Other recorded versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gardner, Edward Foote (2000). Popular Songs of the 20th Century: Chart Detail & Encyclopedia, 1900-1949. St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House. ISBN 1-55778-789-1. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Joel Whitburn Presents a Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-135-7. 
  3. ^ Victor Records in the 18000 to 18499 series
  4. ^ Columbia Records in the A-2500 to A-2999 series
  5. ^ Columbia Records in the A-6000 to A-6233 series
  6. ^ Perry Como discography entry for "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"
  7. ^ RCA Victor Records in the 20-1500 to 20-1999 series
  8. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. 
  9. ^ a b c RCA Victor Records in the 20-2500 to 20-2999 series
  10. ^ Decca Records in the 23000 to 23499 series
  11. ^ Columbia Records in the 36500 to 36999 series
  12. ^ Columbia Records in the 38000 to 38499 series
  13. ^ a b Decca Records in the 3500 to 3999 series
  14. ^ Decca Records in the 18500 to 18923 series
  15. ^ Pathé Records in the 22000 to 22841 series
  16. ^ Medallion Records listing
  17. ^ Emerson Records in the 0900 to 9227 series
  18. ^ OKeh Records in the 1000 to 1262 series
  19. ^ a b Bluebird Records in the 10500 to 10999 series
  20. ^ Columbia Records in the 36000 to 36499 series
  21. ^ Columbia Records in the 35500 to 35999 series
  22. ^ Columbia Records in the 40500 to 40999 series
  23. ^ Capitol Records in the 100 to 499 series
  24. ^ a b Capitol Records in the 1000 to 1499 series
  25. ^ a b Capitol Records in the 15000 to 15431 series
  26. ^ OKeh Records in the 41000 to 41499 series
  27. ^ Keystone Broadcasting System Records in the KBS 303 to KBS 740 and KBS A to KBS D series
  28. ^ Colpix Records listing
  29. ^ Mercury Records in the 2000 to 2098 series
  30. ^ a b Victor Records in the 27000 to 27499 series
  31. ^ Capitol Records in the 1500 to 1999 series
  32. ^ Capitol Records in the CL 13200 to CL 13999 series
  33. ^ Barbra Streisand Archives: Records/Just For the Record.
  34. ^ Everest Records listing
  35. ^ Cosmo Records listings