My Funny Valentine
|"My Funny Valentine"|
|Music by||Richard Rodgers|
|Lyrics by||Lorenz Hart|
"My Funny Valentine" is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. Recorded by Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Miles Davis and Chaka Khan, the song is a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
The basic structure of the song on a c-minor tonic is as follows:
- C-, C-maj7, C-7, C-6, Abmaj7, F-7, D-7(b5), G7(b9)
- ditto thru to the F-7, then Db9, Bb7(b9)
- (bridge) Ebmaj7, F-7, G-7, F-7, Ebmaj7, F-7, G-7, F-7, Ebmaj7, G7(+5),C-,(Bb7,A7) Abmaj7, D-7(b5) G7,
- C-, C-maj7, C-7, C-6, Abmaj7, D-7(b5) G7(b9), C-, Bb-7 A7, Abmaj7, F-7, Bb7(b9), C-7 (preferred, or Ebmaj7)
This simple and classic structure makes it easy to adapt to other genres and for jazz musicians to improvise over the established chords.
Babes in Arms opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway, in New York City on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green) sings the song to Valentine "Val" LaMar (played by Ray Heatherton). In the song, Billie pokes fun at some of Valentine's characteristics, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn't want him to change. The song first hit the charts in 1945, performed by Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor. It only appeared for one week and hit #16. The song is part of the Great American Songbook and has had many notable recordings (see talk page).
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- Playbill from 1937 Babes in Arms theatrical performance
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- Bragalini, Luca (1997). "My Funny Valentine: The Disintegration of the Standard". Originally published in Musica Jazz.
- Cook, Richard (1999-02-12). "The Hart of the Matter". New Statesman 128 (4423): 45. ISSN 1364-7431.
- Fox, Dan (2007). World's Greatest Wedding Music: 50 of the Most Requested Wedding Pieces. Alfred Music Publishing. ISBN 0-7390-4674-8.
- Friedwald, Will (2002). "My Funny Valentine (1937)". Stardust Memories: The Biography of Twelve of America's Most Popular Songs. New York: Random House, Inc. pp. 348–373. ISBN 0-375-42089-4.
- Gabbard, Krin (2004). Black Magic: White Hollywood and African American Culture. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3384-8.
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- Holbrook, Morris B. (2005). "The Ambi-Diegesis of "My Funny Valentine"". In Steve Lannin and Matthew Caley. Pop fiction: The Song in Cinema. Portland, OR: Intellect Books. pp. 48–62. ISBN 1-84150-078-X.
- Steyn, Mark (2014). "My Funny Valentine: Steyn's Song of the Week Extra". Adapted from A Song For The Season.
- Studwell, William Emmett (1994). The Popular Song Reader: A Sampler of Well-Known Twentieth Century-Songs. Routledge. p. 127. ISBN 1-56024-369-4.
- Chet Baker Sings 'My Funny Valentine'
- 'My Funny Valentine' performed by Nuala Honan and Jools Scott on YouTube