Try to Remember
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"Try to Remember" is a song from the musical comedy The Fantasticks. It is the first song sung in the show, to get the audience to imagine what the sparse set suggests. Its lyrics, written by Tom Jones, famously rhyme "remember" with "September", "so tender", "ember", and "December", and repeat the sequence -llow throughout the song: verse 1 contains "mellow", "yellow", and "callow fellow"; verse 2 contains "willow", "pillow", "billow"; verse 3 contains "follow", "hollow", "mellow"; and all verses end with "follow". Harvey Schmidt composed the music.
Pop charts and early recordings
In 1971 the Dutch singing duo Saskia & Serge had a national smash hit with their signature song 'Zomer in Zeeland', based on the music of 'Try to Remember'.
In 1975 Gladys Knight & the Pips had a huge international hit with their version of "Try to Remember", combining it into a medley with a cover of Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were". It reached #11 on the Hot 100 chart. In Knight's version, she recited some of the lyrics from "Try To Remember" in spoken-word fashion before beginning to sing "The Way We Were".
Harry Belafonte has recorded the song multiple times.
The Greek singer Nana Mouskouri also recorded it in three languages: German, French, and Italian.
In 1973 actress Patricia Routledge recorded it for her solo album Presenting Patricia Routledge Singing the Classics.
Notable appearances in films and TV shows
"Try to Remember" was used in the soundtrack of the film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
In 1996, a parody of "Try to Remember" was used on The Rush Limbaugh Show as a recurring feature to mock Hillary Clinton's Congressional testimony in the Whitewater hearings, in which she claimed to be unable to remember key facts about the issues being investigated.
When Jerry Orbach died, the TV show he had starred in for many years, Law & Order, ran a brief video tribute to him at the end of an episode. An instrumental version of "Try To Remember" played over the clips.
"Try to Remember" is used in Captain America: Civil War when Tony Stark's mother plays it on the piano in his flashback. The song was used at the suggestion of Robert Downey Jr., who portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man in this and many other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, because he liked the song when he was young.
Later cover recordings
John Barrowman recorded this song on his 2003 album Reflections from Broadway.
Josh Groban recorded this song for his 2015 album, Stages.