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Billie Holiday - It Had To Be You (Clef Records 1955)

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Published on Apr 9, 2012

"It Had to Be You" is a popular song written by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn, and was first published in 1924. The song was performed by Priscilla Lane in the 1939 film The Roaring Twenties and by Danny Thomas in the 1951 film I'll See You in My Dreams.

The lyrics explain why the singer puts up with a domineering partner. The reason offered is depth of attachment: "somebody who could make me be true, could make me be blue." However, domination itself may be the attraction: "some others I've seen might never be mean, never be cross, try to be boss, but they wouldn't do." The singer concludes: "nobody else gave me a thrill ... wonderful you, it had to be you." However, the lyrics can be interpreted as a realistic and bemused commentary on the reality of attachment, a recognition that the beloved is not perfect but has significant flaws which can be tolerated and accepted because of her (or his) virtues. While "It Had to Be You" is not unique in taking this stand about romantic love, it does counterpose itself to the dominant pattern in the Great American Songbook of celebrating the beloved as a perfect angel. In any case, the complicated melody, minor chords, and ambiguous lyrics make this a classic torch song.

Billie's accompanied by Benny Cater (alto sax), Artie Shapiro & John Simmons (bass), Larry Bunker (drums), Barney Kessel (guitar), Jimmy Rowles (piano), and Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet). Recorded August 23, 1955, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California. (Clef Records)

It had to be you, it had to be you
I wandered around, and finally found, the somebody who
Could make me be true, could make me be blue
And even be glad, just to be sad, thinking of you

Some others I've seen, might never be mean
Might never be cross, or try to be boss but they wouldn't do
For nobody else, gave me a thrill with all your faults, I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you, it had to be you

It had to be you, it had to be you
I wandered around, and finally found, the somebody who
Could make me be true, could make me be blue
And even be glad, just to be sad, thinking of you

Some others I've seen, might never be mean
Might never be cross, or try to be boss but they wouldn't do
For nobody else, gave me a thrill with all your faults, I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you, it had to be you

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