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Haunted Heart

     For a couple of years now I have been playing off and on for singer, Elizabeth Knecht, often with her singing partner, Steve Pollack, doing little shows around the Philadelphia area.  One of the benefits of working with new people is that you learn “new” songs and one of the songs Elizabeth introduced me to was Dietz and Schwartz’s Haunted Heart.

     I knew the usual passel of standards by them, such as I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan, By Myself, Alone Together, Dancing in the Dark, That’s Entertainment etc. but I didn’t know Haunted Heart and I’ve grown to like it so much that I asked Elizabeth if she’d sing it as a weekly tune.

     Dietz and Schwartz wrote it in 1948 for a show called Inside the U.S.A.  (That show also apparently featured the more obscure tune Rhode Island is Famous for You, a cute little number whose lyrics are a litany of state bragging points.  At one point I used to know them but they are now gone from my memory, the better to make room I suppose for Haunted Heart.

     Haunted Heart is a more typical Dietz and Schwartz tune with the brooding or, well, haunting melodic quality of the sort you get in Alone Together or Dancing in the Dark.  (Interestingly both Dietz and Schwartz started out in other careers.  Dietz started as a publicist and was head of advertising and publicity for MGM. Later he was head of ASCAP and did his lyric-writing on the side.  Schwartz started out in law and then after four years jumped full-time into music.)

     Haunted Heart was recorded (on V-disk) by Jo Stafford and like anything she did, it’s lovely.  I don’t have the recording but was able to catch 30 seconds of it on the internet and I borrowed the basic feel here for our version.  Click on the title in red to hear it.  The lyrics are below.  (By the way, I’m backing Elizabeth with a trio at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia the last two Saturdays of this month [June 2007]. See Gigs.)

Haunted Heart 

In the night

Though we’re apart,

There’s a ghost of you within

My haunted heart;

Ghost of you

My lost romance.

Lips that laugh,

Eyes that dance.

Haunted heart  

Won’t let me be,

Dreams repeat a sweet

But lonely song to me.

Dreams are dust,

It’s you who must

Belong to me

And thrill

My haunted heart.

Be still,

My haunted heart.

In the night,

Though we’re apart,

Dreams repeat a sweet but lonely song to me

Dreams are dust,

It’s you who must

Belong to me

And thrill

My haunted heart.

Be still,

My haunted heart.


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