I Could Write a Book

palJoeyPlayBill

PROFILE
Composer Richard Rodgers
Lyricist Lorenz Hart
Year Written 1940
About I Could Write a Book
“I Could Write a Book” was written for the Broadway musical Pal Joey, where it was introduced by Gene Kelly and Leila Ernst. This has always been an interesting song. Today it’s considered a lovely romantic number, but in the context of the musical, it’s sung as a phony love song in order to woo the innocent ingenue. It’s been widely recorded by artists including Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Betty Carter, Anita O’Day and Ella Fitzgerald.

Lyrics

A-B-C-D-E-G-H
I never learned to spell
at least not well.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7
I never learned to count
a great amount.
But my busy mind is burning
to use what learning I’ve got.
I won’t waste any time,
I’ll strike while the iron is hot.

If they asked me, I could write a book
about the way you walk and whisper and look.
I could write a preface on how we met
so the world would never forget.
And the simple secret of the plot
is just to tell them that I love you a lot.
Then the world discovers as my book ends
how to make two lovers a friend

Session / Album Information

1973-1

“I Could Write a Book” was recorded in July, 1973 and released in 1976 on Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs.

This recording released on:

  • 1976: Improv LP 12″: 7113 — Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs
  • Disky CD: BX 883552 — As Time Goes By
  • 1990: King CD: KICP-2046 — The Rodgers and Hart Songbook [Japan]
  • 1991: Improv LP 12″: DARC2-2102 — The Rodgers And Hart Songbook
  • 1991: DRG CD: CDXP 2102 — The Rodgers And Hart Songbook
  • 2000: Horatio Nelson CD: HNRCD9001 — The Essential Tony Bennett (UK)
  • 2002: Recall CD: RECA 353 — Have You Met Miss Jones? [UK]
  • 2004: Concord CD: PRO-CJ-0081-2 — The Complete Improv Recordings Sampler
  • 2004: Concord CD: CCD4-2255 — The Complete Improv Recordings
  • 2005: Concord CD: 2243 — Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
  • 2006: Universal CD: 3122432 — Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook (UK)
  • 2006: Concord CD: CCD-6023-2 — Tony Bennett Sings For Lovers
  • 2011: Concord CRE-32955-02 – The Best of the Improv Recordings
  • 2011: Disc #50 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK49) Tony Bennett’s Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs

1973-2

“I Could Write a Book” (alternate take #2)  was recorded in July, 1973 and released in 2004 on The Complete Improv Recordings.

This recording released on:

  • 2004: Concord CD: CCD4-2255 — The Complete Improv Recordings
  • 2005: Concord CD: 2243 — Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
  • 2006: Universal CD: 3122432 — Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook (UK)
  • 2011: Disc #50 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK49) Tony Bennett’s Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs

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