Jazz Standards.com : Jazz Standards : Songs : History : Biographies
Home Overview Songs Biographies History Theory Search Bookstore About

You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To (1942)

Share your comments on this tune...

Origin and Chart Information
“[The song] ...evoked enough of a feeling of togetherness in its wistful melody and lyrics to have almost instant appeal for the millions who were then separated from their loved ones because of the war.”

- Charles Schwartz

Rank 188
Words and Music Cole Porter

The movie Something to Shout About, filmed in 1942 but released in 1943, introduced the Academy Award-nominated song “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” It was sung by Don Ameche and Janet Blair in the backstage story which itself was nothing much to shout about.

The song was recorded by Frank Sinatra and made 16 appearances on the popular radio show Your Hit Parade. However, it was Dinah Shore with the Paul Weston Orchestra who took it to the charts where it remained for 18 weeks, topping at #3. The vocal group Six Hits and a Miss later had modest success with the song, charting for two weeks and reaching #11.


Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

It was the only song from the film that caught on with the public. In his book Cole Porter: A Biography Charles Schwartz says that the song ...”evoked enough of a feeling of togetherness in its wistful melody and lyrics to have almost instant appeal for the millions who were then separated from their loved ones because of the war.”


More on Cole Porter at JazzBiographies.com

Henry Martin in his book Enjoying Jazz analyzes an Ella Fitzgerald performance of the song that he calls “a freewheeling improvisation of the melody with the original lyrics.... For a lyric to be applied so freely, it is necessary that it be fairly easy to sing. The smooth, colloquial lyric of ‘You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To’ enables Fitzgerald to show off her technique to excellent effect.”

The song’s appeal has lured even avant garde pianist Cecil Taylor to record it. Recent instrumental performances include renditions by pianist Bill Mays, guitarist Jack Wilkins, and flutist Ali Ryerson. Four contemporary vocalists perform the song at different tempos ranging from upbeat to slow ballad-- Janis Mann, Kenny Rankin, Giacomo Gates, and Andy Bey--but none of them include the verse--and with reason.

The verse, in fact, qualifies the love expressed in the song and totally changes the meaning: “It’s not that you’re fairer...It’s not that you’re rarer...No, my darling, this is the reason why you’ve got to be mine.” With this introduction the song’s romantic images become merely a wish, an idealization, intended as a seduction instead of a sincere expression of admiration: “You’d be so nice by the fire...under stars, chilled by the winter...under an August moon burning above....”

Cole: A Biographical Essay, by Robert Kimball and Brendan Gill, includes a second verse, apparently sung by the female love interest in response to the refrain. In this verse romance takes a real hit and the love expressed in the refrain is belittled:

I should be excited,
But, Lothario, why not own up
That you always chase
After ev’ry new face
In town?

Since both verses burst the bubble of romance and detract from the expressed desire, they are best unsung. Porter’s lyrics for the refrain are evocative, and they soothed a war time generation of couples longing to be reunited. Their magic is still effective generations later. And the move from the minor key opening to the major key ending adds to the song’s hopefulness. The verse aside, it’s a tune that jazz musicians still love to explore.

More information on this tune...

Allen Forte
The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950: A Study in Musical Design
Princeton University Press
Hardcover: 336 pages

(Author/educator Forte devotes four pages to the song’s history and an analysis of the music.)

- Sandra Burlingame

Recommendations for This Tune
Click on any CD for more details at Amazon.com
Cecil Taylor
Jazz Advance
Blue Note Records
Original Recording 1956

If you are looking for a straightforward interpretation of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to,” this is perhaps not the place to start. If you are looking for a challenging, exploratory reinterpretation that is at times contemplative and at other times aggressive and spiky, this visionary solo piano performance may be for you.

Paul Chambers
Bass on Top
Blue Note Records
Original Recording 1957

Bassist Chambers takes center stage here and makes the most of the opportunity, offering a fabulous interpretation of the melody and an equally fabulous solo. He moves on to his role in the rhythm section and provides his usual stellar accompaniment for the other soloists, pianist Hank Jones and guitarist Kenny Burrell.

Sarah Vaughan
After Hours at the London House (Dig)
Original Recording 1958

This live recording features irresistible vocals from Vaughan over an equally irresistible groove thanks in large part to the drumming of longtime Vaughan associate Roy Haynes. There are also excellent solos by Thad Jones on trumpet and Richard Davis on bass.

Lee Konitz
Motion (Dig)
Original Recording 1961

Saxophonist Konitz recorded this song often, and this lengthy, up-tempo, swinging trio performance with bassist Sonny Dallas and drummer Elvin Jones is one of his most sweeping explorations of it.

Ella Fitzgerald
At Juan-Les Pins (Dig)
Umvd Labels
Original Recording 1964

This recording documents Fitzgerald in a live performance in France with Tommy Flanagan’s trio plus Roy Eldridge on trumpet. At a briskly swinging tempo, she offers a great interpretation of melody followed by a second chorus in which she thoroughly reinvents it.

Bill Mays
Going Home
Palmetto Records
Original Recording 2002

A prolific though often behind-the-scenes musician, pianist Mays gives us a powerfully swinging, tight and clever performance with his trio featuring bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson.


- Noah Baerman

Billy Bauer
2000 Verve 314517060
Original recording 1956
A rare turn as a leader finds Bauer proving he is a natural on this electrifying interpretation of the song. The guitarist sets a blistering pace, egged on by the rhythm of drummer Osie Johnson and bassist Milt Hinton.
Andy Bey
Ballads Blues & Bey
1996 Evidence 22162

As a master vocalist Bey’s phrasing and timing are impeccable. Accompanying himself on the piano, Bey presents a Spartan, unembellished reading of the song, one to be enjoyed for its purity and elegance.
Bobby Timmons
Sweet and Soulful Sounds
1997 Original Jazz Classics 928
Original recording 1962
Flashes of unadulterated brilliance coincide with a solid work ethic on this rendition. Pianist Timmons demonstrates an intrinsic understanding of the song, where it has been and where it can go.
Barbara Carroll
Everything I Love
1995 DRG 91438

Pianist Carroll gently explores the rhythmic elements of this romantic ballad with her trio. It’s a class act all the way.

- Ben Maycock

Copyright 2005-2015 - JazzStandards.com - All Rights Reserved      Permission & contact information

Home | Overview | Songs | Biographies | History | Theory | Search | Bookstore | About