All Through the Night
At this writing, Cole Porter’s Anything Goes has been recently revived on Broadway to great acclaim, particularly for its star Sutton Foster. It’s a silly bit of work but a lot of fun and features, in addition to the title song, You’re the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, and this week’s Weekly Tune, All Through the Night. (I gather the current Broadway version also interpolates some Porter songs from other shows.)
All Through the Night may not be one of the Porter chestnuts, but it demonstrates how, in addition to being the witty lyricist, Porter was capable of writing interesting and beautiful melodies. (Think, for another example, of So In Love from Kiss Me, Kate. Gorgeous.)
All Through the Night is technically interesting in that its melody starts off –and continues for twelve measures – in a descending chromatic scale. Against that languorous descent are rising chromatic notes implicit in the harmony (done by the violins here at the start). It’s lovely. Something of an intonation challenge for singers, I suspect, but still, lovely.
Anything Goes first opened in 1934. In his biography of Porter, Charles Schwartz notes how the lyrics of the score’s more clever songs perfectly capture the insouciant sexual naughtiness of the era, and yet, in All Through the Night – the real love song – we find that the love-making is all imagined, dreamt. This very un-risque conceit is a staple of American standards – see Dream Dancing, Dancing on the Ceiling, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, I Had the Craziest Dream and countless others. It may be an overworked image, this lying alone in bed and dreaming of one’s love, but in contrast to today’s fare, when a song titled All Through the Night would probably really mean it and mean it graphically, the old restraint has a kind of romantic charm.
Anyway, to hear the tune click on the title in red. The lyrics are below.
All through the night
I delight in your love.
All through the night you’re so close to me.
All through the night
From a height far above,
You and your love bring me ecstasy.
When dawn comes to waken,
You’re never there at all,
I know you’ve forsaken me
‘Til the shadows fall.
But then once again
I can dream
I’ve the right
To be close to you
All through the night.