Too Marvelous for Words

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This article is about the popular song. For the Jo Stafford album, see Too Marvelous for Words (album).
"Too Marvelous for Words"
Featured in the 1937 Warner Brothers film Ready, Willing and Able
Song by Ross Alexander
Published 1937
Composer Richard Whiting
Lyricist Johnny Mercer
Language English
Recorded by Many artists; see Recorded versions

"Too Marvelous for Words" is a popular song written in 1937. Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics for music composed by Richard Whiting. It was featured in the 1937 Warner Brothers film Ready, Willing and Able, as well as a production number in a musical revue on Broadway. It then became the love theme in the 1947 film noir Dark Passage directed by Delmer Daves, first in a version sung by Jo Stafford, then just instrumental as the love that finally reunites Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart is Too Marvelous for Words indeed.

Alec Wilder praised the song as a "model of pop song writing, musically and lyrically".[1] He cites its surprising shifts in rhythm and key.

The lyrics are sophisticated and perfectly synchronized with the tune. Mercer successfully borrowed some lyric techniques from Ira Gershwin, and like Gershwin, he writes more about language than about love.[2] Margaret Whiting said of the lyrics, that the song was an enormously original approach to saying "I love you, honey".[3]

Recorded versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilder, Alec (1990). American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-501445-6. 
  2. ^ Furia, Philip (1990). The Poets of Tin Pan Alley. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506408-9. 
  3. ^ Wilk, Max (1997). They're Playing Our Song. New York: Da Capo. ISBN 0-306-80746-7. 
  4. ^ "Billie Holiday Discography".