Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for the musicla “Babes in Amrs”
Introduced by Mitzi Green (Billie Smith)
After being recorded by Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis, the song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
In the verse Hart, like in Thou swell, used old English. In this case probably he wanted to emphasize the “comic” intet of the song: Billie is making fun of Val by using an archaic, poetic language. But as the verse goes on it’s clear to the listener that Billie’s love is true and sincere. Val, who is not very attractive, perhaps some sort of geek,
Unlike what Stephen Sondheim recently said, trying to be funny I guess, Val is not a vampire since his looks are “unphotographable”: with that witty lines Hart ment that he’s so peculiar and unique that even a photograph can not “catch”.
Behold the way our fine feathered-friend
his virtue doth parade.
Thou knowest not my dim witted friend,
the picture Thou hast made.
Thy vacant brow and Thy tousled hair
conceal Thy good intent.
Thou noble upright, truthful, sincere
And slightly dopey gent- you are..
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
You looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little bit weak
When you open it to speak, are you smart?
Don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentine’s day