Just One of Those Things (song)
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Porter had written the score for Jubilee while on an extended sea cruise in the early part of 1935: however, in September 1935 while he was visiting a friend's farm in Ohio with Jubilee's librettist Moss Hart, the latter mentioned that the play's second act required an additional song, and Porter had "Just One of Those Things" completed by the following morning (he had previously used the title for a song intended for but not featured in the 1930 musical The New Yorkers—apart from the title the two songs are distinct). Porter's original lyric lacked an adjective for the line "a trip to the moon on gossamer wings": "gossamer" would be suggested by his friend, Ed Tauch.
"Just One of Those Things" was featured in two Doris Day musical films, Lullaby of Broadway (1951) and Young at Heart (1954), and also in the film version of Can-Can (1960) in which it's performed by Maurice Chevalier.
Influence in popular culture
The song has become a standard of the American Songbook, with many recordings having been made of it. Among artists who have recorded it are Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Lena Horne, Maxine Sullivan, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Louis Prima, Diana Krall, John Barrowman, Bryan Ferry, Lionel Hampton, Claude Bolling, Oscar Peterson, Lee Morgan, Sidney Bechet, Nellie McKay, Erin McKeown, Joan Morris, Judy Garland, Patricia Barber, Johnny Dorelli, Jamie Cullum, Dionne Warwick, The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Nat King Cole recorded it as the title track of his 1957 album Just One Of Those Things. Peggy Lee recorded it in a stylized arrangement to become a chart topping hit in the 1950s. Maurice Chevalier included it in a Cole Porter medley on his farewell album, released on his 80th birthday. Shirley Bassey recorded the song in 1963 for her EP In Other Words....
An episode of Get Smart alluded to the song: Agent 86 (posing as a mentally ill military officer) tells the psychiatrist he's investigating that he had been working on a space vehicle of his own, "Gossamer Wings", but lamented that "it was just one of those things".
An instrumental version of "Just One of Those Things" is heard briefly on the radio in Woody Allen's 1987 film Radio Days to signal the transition from the death of "little Polly Phelps [who] fell down a well" in Pennsylvania and was killed, to the resumption of normal life among the New Yorkers who populate the movie. Director Allen assumed that the song was familiar enough to movie audiences that merely playing its music without words would signify the meaning in its title. The song is not on the movie soundtrack, however, which features "Selected" tracks only.
- Schwartz, Charles (1992). Cole Porter - a biography (2nd paperback printing ed.). New York: Da Capo Press Inc. pp. 144, 307. ISBN 978-0-306-80097-9.
- McBrien, William (2000). Cole Porter (1st Vintage Books ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 183. ISBN 0-679-72792-2.
- "Billie Holiday Discography". jazzdisco.org.
- "The Polly Bergen Show". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved January 9, 2011.