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You Leave Me Breathless

     Ted, the song maven who requested I’ll String Along with You awhile back, suggested I do You Leave Me Breathless.  As with String Along, I didn’t know You Leave Me Breathless but I found it in a fake book and thought I’d give it an airing.

     According to my  book, an F. Hollander wrote the tune in 1938 for a show (or movie?) called Cocoanut Grove.  I couldn’t find out anything about Hollander though a googling showed that Tommy Dorsey recorded the song, as did Ella Fitzgerald.

     Ted knows the song through Ella and though I’ve never heard the recording, you can hear – in your mind’s ear, so to speak – how nicely the melody would have suited her.  The song starts evocatively on an interval of a major 7th  (like Cole Porter’s “I Love You”) and carries along very nicely mixing big and small steps.  Ted very rightly notes the clever bird metaphor in the lyric that ends, poignantly: “I’m filled with melody, but at a loss for words.”   Note too how the first eight bars set the breathless motif, the second eight bars do the speechless motif and the last eight bars combine them, the one causing the other.  Nice. Thanks to Ted for getting me onto this. Click on the title in red to hear it.  The lyrics are below.

 You Leave Me Breathless

You leave me breathless,

You heavenly thing.

You look so wonderful.

You’re like a breath of spring.

You leave me speechless,

I’m just like the birds,

I’m filled with melody

But at a loss for words.


That little grin of yours,

That funny chin of yours

Does so much to my heart.

Oh! Give your lips to me,

For, darling, that would be

The final touch to my heart.

You leave me breathless

That’s all I can say.

I can’t say more because

You take my breath away.

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