What Is This Thing Called Love

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About What Is This Thing Called Love

"What Is This Thing Called Love?" is a 1929 popular song written by Cole Porter, for the musical Wake Up and Dream. It was first performed by Elsie Carlisle in March 1929. The song has become a popular jazz standard and one of Porter's most often played compositions. Wake Up and Dream ran for 263 shows in London. The show was also noticed in New York, and the critics praised Tilly Losch's performance of the song. The show was produced on Broadway in December 1929; in the American rendition, "What Is This Thing Called Love" was sung by Frances Shelley. Jazz musicians soon included the song in their repertoire. The recordings of Ben Bernie and Fred Rich (vocal by The Rollickers) made it to the charts in 1930, and the song was also recorded by stride pianist James P. Johnson, clarinetist Artie Shaw and guitarist Les Paul. The piece is usually performed at a fast tempo; the 1956 recording of Clifford Brown and Max Roach with Sonny Rollins is one of the best-known uptempo instrumental versions. Saxophonist Sidney Bechet made a slow rendition in 1941 with Charlie Shavers. The chord progression of the song forms the basis of several jazz compositions (contrafact), such as "Hot House" by Tadd Dameron. 


Year:
1999
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I was a hum-drum person
Leading a life apart
When love flew in through my window wide
And quickened my hum-drum heart
Love flew in through my window
I was so happy then
But after love had stayed a little while
Love flew out again

What is this thing called love?
This funny thing called love?
Just who can solve its mystery?
Why should it make a fool of me?
I saw you there one wonderful day
You took my heart and threw my heart away
That's why I ask the Lawd up in Heaven above
What is this thing called love?

You gave me days of sunshine
You gave me nights of cheer
You made my life an enchanted dream
'Til somebody else came near
Somebody else came near you
I felt the winter's chill
And now I sit and wonder night and day
Why I love you still

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Artie Shaw

Arthur Jacob Arshawsky (May 23, 1910 – December 30, 2004), commonly known by his stage name, Artie Shaw, was an American clarinetist, composer, and bandleader. Also an author, Shaw wrote both fiction and non-fiction writings. more »

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Written by: Cole Porter

Lyrics © Songtrust Ave, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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