Jule Styne is best known for writing the music for Funny Girl, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Gypsy. He also wrote the music for “Let It Snow? Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Many of the lyrics for his songs were by Sammy Cahn. They particularly worked together, writing for Frank Sinatra, in the late 1940s. Another song they wrote together that became famous for Doris Day is “It’s Magic.” And one that was a hit for Sinatra was “Time After Time.”
According to JazzStandards.com (an invaluable resource for songs written during this era), the melody for “Time After Time” was first written by Styne during a party. Styne was trying to create a melody that could pass as a song written by Jerome Kern. Sammy Cahn later put lyrics to it and Sinatra recorded it in 1946. In 1947, it appeared in MGM’s It Happened in Brooklyn, starring Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Kathryn Grayson.
I’ve had this song in my head for a month, now. It all started when I got a movie from the library, From Time to Time, which has absolutely nothing to do with the song, but that repeat of the word “time” always brings the song to mind and I have been singing and humming it all the time, all over the place, everywhere I go. In the shower, cooking dinner, browsing the aisles of stores, serfing the internet. I even catch myself singing it softly to myself while talking to people! It’s getting to be a problem.
So, my idea idea is that if I engage in an orgy of listening to this song, I will make myself so thoroughly tired of it and familiar with it that it will be purged from my mind. I hope it works.
But because I listened to so many different versions (I even found one by Keanu Reeves!) I had trouble deciding which ones to include in this post. I also accidentally discovered that there is another song called “Time After Time,” written by Cyndi Lauper, which has nothing to do with the original song. But if you simply type in “Time After Time” on youtube or google or any search engine, that is the song that comes up first. The 1979 film Time After Time is what comes up next,
But to begins things, I knew I had to include the version first recorded by Sinatra in 1946.
Here, Kathryn Grayson introduces the song in It Happened in Brooklyn. The film is a musical, post-WWII romance about three people who couldn’t wait for the war to be over so they could get back to their lives, but now find that life’s not so hot and aspire to become musicians and, in Grayson’s case, an opera singer. All the songs are written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.
I particularly like this version, sung by Sarah Vaughan as a ballad with pianist Teddy Wilson in 1946.
One can never go wrong with Ella Fitzgerald. This version was recorded in 1966, I believe.
Are you tired of the song yet? I am not as familiar with June Christy, but she began her career in big band with the The Stan Kenton Orchestra and went solo in the 1950s-60s. She recorded this version in 1963, accompanied with a flute and bass guitar and I find it rather refreshing.