All Through the Day
Looking over the Tune Archive I note that Jerome Kern is woefully under-represented. The patriarch of American song-writing, Kern wrote dozens of gold-plated standards – Ol’ Man River, The Way You Look Tonight, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and on and on -- including what many believe to be the masterpiece of the whole genre, All The Things You Are. Not only was his writing beautiful in itself, its novelty and harmonic adventurism influenced all the rest who would follow him into the pantheon, Gershwin, Porter, Rogers et al…
For this Weekly Tune I’ve chosen a lesser known Kern tune: All Through the Day. It was the last complete song that Kern wrote and it was done for a 1945 Otto Preminger-directed movie titled Centennial Summer about two Philadelphia sisters who fall in love with a Frenchman who has come over to set up the pavilion for the Centennial Exposition here.
I didn’t know All Through the Day until I recorded it some years back for another project. It’s sweet and pretty with some surprising key changes. The lyrics are by Oscar Hammerstein II. The song received an Oscar nomination for Best Song but, alas, this honor was posthumous for Kern. In November of 1945 Kern collapsed on Park Avenue and died days later of a cerebral thrombosis. Looking back in my Kern book, I was astonished to learn that he was only 60 years old. But, as Hammerstein noted, his legacy continues to delight. Click on the title in red to hear it. The lyrics are below. (The song makes a nice book end to Cole Porter’s All Through the Night which is also in the Tune Archive.)
I sit alone in a golden daylight,
But all I see is a silver sky.
For in my fancy I sweep away light
And keep my image of the sky,
Just the way we like it, you and I.
Refrain (Or as Kern always called it, the Burthen):
All through the day
I dream about the night
I dream about the night here with you.
All through the day
I wish away the time,
Until the time when I’m here with you.
Down falls the sun,
I run to meet you,
The evening mist melts away;
Down smiles the moon
And soon your lips recall
The kiss I dreamed of all through the day.