Saturday, November 15, 2014

Frank Sinatra -- "The Way You Look Tonight" (1964)

There is nothing for me but to love you
And the way you look tonight

Seven weeks ago, 2 or 3 lines featured "Summer Wind," a Frank Sinatra classic that was the song that my daughter Caroline and I danced to at her September 28 wedding reception.

Today is my daughter Sarah's wedding, which will take place at St. John's Episcopal Church/Lafayette Square, in Washington, DC.  St. John's is often called "The Church of the Presidents" because every sitting president since James Madison has attended services there.

More important to me is the fact that St. John's is the church where Sarah and her siblings were baptized.  (Sarah's late grandfather was the rector there for 30-plus years.)

St. John's/Lafayette Square
Later tonight, Sarah and I will be dancing to "The Way You Look Tonight," an Academy Award-winning song song that was originally sung by Fred Astaire to Ginger Rogers in Swing Time, the 1936 musical comedy that most critics believe is the best of the Astaire-Rogers movies.

Here's the scene where Fred sings "The Way You Look Tonight" to Ginger:

No one will mistake me for Fred Astaire when I take the dance floor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in downtown Washington, DC, for the traditional father-daughter dance.

National Museum of 
Women in the Arts
And to be honest, no one will mistake Sarah for Ginger Rogers.  But it goes without saying that there's no one I'd rather dance with tonight than her.

I settled on "The Way You Look Tonight" for our dance pretty quickly.  It would have been nice to dance to a song with her name in the title, of course, but none of the "Sarah" songs I'm familiar with really tempted me.

Inside the museum
They don't write songs like "The Way You Look Tonight" any more.  

The music for "The Way You Look Tonight" was composed by Jerome Kern, who is best remembered as the composer of the musical Show Boat and the oft-recorded song, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."

The lyrics were written by Dorothy Fields, one of the first successful female Tin Pan Alley songwriters.  Her hits include "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love."

Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields
I almost began this post by quoting these lines from the first verse of "The Way You Look Tonight":

Some day, when I'm awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you

I think every father who is fortunate enough to have been blessed with one or more daughters would agree with that sentiment.  No matter how bad things get in my life, thinking of my daughters always brings me joy.

Sarah and Caroline (age 9)
But I couldn't resist leading with this line from the song's second verse: 

There is nothing for me but to love you  

Ever since Sarah was born, there was nothing for me but to love her.

Sarah (in 2009)
Sarah is and always has been beautiful.  But the way she looks is just the icing on the cake.

The way she looks tonight is so much less important than the way she is inside.  That's why there is nothing for me but to love her. 

We'll dance to Rod Stewart's recording of "The Way You Look Tonight":

I like the Sinatra version better, but its tempo is a little too fast for us to dance to:

Click below to buy that version of the song from Amazon:

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