Comes Once In A Lifetime

Subways Are For Sleeping


PROFILE
Composer Jule Styne
Lyricists Adolph Green, Betty Comden
Year Written 1961
About Comes Once in a Lifetime
Comes Once in a Lifetime is from the 1961 musical Subways Are For Sleeping, based on a true story first reported in Harper’s Magazine of well-dressed homeless people who slept on subways in New York. In addition to Tony Bennett’s recording, it was a favorite song for Judy Garland.

Lyrics

Every day, just go along dawn till sundown
Here’s a rundown
Every day that comes, comes once in a lifetime

Take each day and gather the rosebuds in it
Fill each minute
Every day that comes, comes once in a lifetime

Think of now, tomorrow is waiting in the wings
Who knows what it brings
While the future waits, the present swings

Day to day, in Brooklyn or China ‘cross the bay
Only once comes this particular sky
Only once these precious hours go by
Only once in a lifetime the day comes by
So live, live, live, live today

Think of now, tomorrow is waiting in the wings
Who knows what it brings
While the future waits, the present swings

From day to day, in Brooklyn or China ‘cross the bay
Only once comes this particular sky
Only once these precious hours go by
Only once in a lifetime a day comes by
So live, live, live, come on and live today

Session / Album Information

1961

Comes Once In A Lifetime was recorded on September 9, 1961 and released as a single that same year; the recording was also used for the 1962 album Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits. It was arranged by Marty Manning.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: Columbia 45: 4-42219
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8563 — Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 1763 — Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits
  • 1991: Columbia House Music Collection CD: 2C2 8151 — The Great American Composers: Jule Styne
  • 2011: Disc #21 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK21) Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits

1962

“Comes Once In a Lifetime” (part of a medley with “Put On a Happy Face”) was recorded live at Tony Bennett’s concert at Carnegie Hall on June 9, 1962 and was initially released in 1962 on the album Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall. Ralph Sharon arranged the song.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: CBS LP 12″: BPG62116 — At Carnegie Hall – Part 1 (UK)
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8705 — At Carnegie Hall – vol.1
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: C2L 23 — Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: C2S 823 — Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall
  • 1993: Sony Music Special Products CD: 15056 — Tony Bennett Sings for You
  • 1995:  Sony Music CD: WK 75012 — Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall
  • 1997: Columbia CD: C2K 64609 — At Carnegie Hall June 9, 1962: Complete Concert
  • 2011: Disc #24 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK24) Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall

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