How Little We Know

Hoagy Carmichael

About How Little We Know

"How Little We Know" is a song written by written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, where it is performed by the character "Slim" played by Lauren Bacall. A young Andy Williams recorded the song for the film as a possible alternative track to dub Bacall's low voice. Bacall said they used her singing. After the film's release it was a hit recording sung by Judy Johnson. It has been covered periodically, most recently in 1999 by Michael Feinstein with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band for the album Big City Rhythms. This song should not be confused with the Carolyn Leigh/Phillip Springer composition "(How Little It Matters) How Little We Know", which was first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1956. 


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Maybe it happens this way
Maybe we really belong together
But after all, how little we know

Maybe it's just for a day
Love is as changeable as the weather
And after all, how little we know

Who knows why an April breeze never remains
Why stars in the trees hide when it rains
Love comes along, casting a spell            
Will it sing you a song  
Will it say a farewell
Who can tell

Maybe you're meant to be mine
Maybe I'm only supposed to stay in your arms a while
As others have done
Is this what I've waited for, am I the one
Oh, I hope in my heart that it's so
In spite of how little we know

Is this what I've waited for, am I the one
Oh, I hope in my heart that it's so
In spite of how little we know

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Hoagy Carmichael

Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for composing the music for "Stardust", "Georgia on My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time. more »

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Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

"How Little We Know" was composed by the American musician, lyricist, and actor, Hoagy Carmichael, known for his contributions to the Great American Songbook. Michael Feinstein, a popular American singer, pianist, and music revivalist, also contributed to the creation of this song.
Original Appearance
The song was originally produced for the 1944 film "To Have and Have Not," a classic romance-war movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
The lyrics of "How Little We Know" were not written by Carmichael himself but by Johnny Mercer, a popular lyricist of that era.
The original version of the song was performed by Lauren Bacall in "To Have and Have Not." Her sultry performance of the song remains one of the highlights of the film.
Feinstein's Version
Michael Feinstein, a well-known performer of the American Songbook, recorded his own version of "How Little We Know." Feinstein is known for his renditions of classic American songs, and his version of this song is widely appreciated.
Style of Music
The song incorporates elements of big band jazz and traditional pop, a common musical style during the mid 20th century.
The song is arguably one of the less known works of Carmichael, however, its romantic lyrics and melodic tune have still influenced several artists throughout the years. It has been covered by numerous jazz musicians and vocalists.
Song Theme
The song's lyrics are about the complexities and mysteries of love and relationships - a common theme in many of Carmichael's works.
Songs in Film
Apart from "How Little We Know," another song by Carmichael, "Hong Kong Blues," also featured in "To Have and Have Not."
The song, while not topping any charts, has nevertheless had a lasting impact on the genre of jazz and pop, and continues to be appreciated by music enthusiasts.

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