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Jazz Song Currently Stuck In My Head: Stella By Starlight

November 25, 2007 | 1 Minute Read

So currently, I’ve got Stella By Starlight stuck in my head. It’s mostly the Chet Baker version that appears on “The Best of Chet Baker Plays.” I’ve got a few other versions that are pretty good, like the Bill Evans one.

My friend David always likes to point out how bad the words for this song are. They really are probably the worst lyrics to a jazz standard ever:

The song a robin sings,

Through years of endless springs,

The murmur of a brook at evening tides.

That ripples through a nook where two lovers hide.

That great symphonic theme,

That’s Stella by starlight,

And not a dream,

My heart and I agree,

She’s everything on this earth to me.

Does anyone know what a song that a robin sings through years of endless springs sounds like? Or a murmur of a brook rippling though a nook? And Stella by starlight is a vision, not a sound, right? Couldn’t we say something about Stella herself, rather than babble endlessly about stupid rhymes (brook and nook make me stabby)?

If you can look past the shitty lyrics, the melody is really nice. Plus this song has the distinction of having some unique changes that I can’t really say sound like any other song. Off the top of my head, at least. The tune works well uptempo or as a ballad, too.

If only I had my Real Book with me and some kind of trumpet practice mute so I don’t bug (and by bug, I mean serenade) the neighbors…