Skylark (song)

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Single by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Songwriter(s)Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael

"Skylark" is an American popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1941.[1] Carmichael wrote the melody, based on a Bix Beiderbecke cornet improvisation, as "Bix Licks," for a project to turn the novel Young Man With a Horn into a Broadway musical. After that project failed, Carmichael brought in Johnny Mercer to write lyrics for the song.[2] Mercer said that he struggled for a year after he got the music from Carmichael before he could get the lyrics right.[3] Mercer recalled that Carmichael initially called him several times about the lyrics but had forgotten about the song by the time Mercer finally wrote them.[4] The yearning expressed in the lyrics was based on Mercer's longing for Judy Garland, with whom he had an affair.[5] This song is considered a jazz standard.[6] Additionally, it is believed to have inspired a long-running Buick car of the same name that was produced from 1953 to 1998.[7]

Selective list of recorded versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Johnny Mercer's Songs on CD", Ralph Mitchell,, June 2009, webpage: JM-ralph Archived 2009-10-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^, retrieved 8/20/18
  3. ^ Wilk, Max (1997). They're Playing Our Song. New York: Da Capo.
  4. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 1, side A.
  5. ^ Furia, Philip (2003). Skylark: The Life and Times of Johnny Mercer (1st ed.). St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-28720-7.
  6. ^ Wilder, Alec (1990). American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ Dennis Adler (2004), Fifties Flashback: The American Car, p. 52, ISBN 0760319278, The flighty name for Buick's dream car came from a song of the same name recorded in 1942 by Johnny Mercer
  8. ^ a b c d e f Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  9. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". A Bing Crosby Discography. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 109. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 579. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 312. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  13. ^ Malcolm Laycock presents the Golden Age of Swing detailed track info (90511).
  14. ^ "The Online Discographical Project". Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 388. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.

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