Individual Thing

Composer Jule Styne
Lyricist Bob Merrill
Year Written 1971
About Individual Thing
“Individual Thing” is from the 1971 musical Prettybelle. It was a rather experimental musical about a woman from the south who becomes an alcoholic and then a nymphomaniac and is then committed to an insane asylum. In its previews in Boston, the audience literally booed and hissed at the production. It closed in Boston. An original cast album was never made, though Varese Sarabande recorded it in 1983 with Angela Lansbury recreating her original role. Interestingly enough, “Individual Thing” was originally written for Funny Girl.


What rings a bell with you
Don’t necessarily ring a bell with me
But that’s the way the cookie crumbles
And love can be intriguing even if it stumbles.

You hear a joke and say oh well.
To me, that joke just rings a bell
What makes a person’s bell ring
Is an individual thing

Some make a fuss to live alone
Some can’t survive without a phone
What makes a person’s life sing
Is an individual thing.

Out of deference to you
I of course respect your preference too
But it’s nice if there is little differential
In the things two people feel are preferential

When you and me, at least to me
We seem alive would you agree?
But I speak for myself, of course
Dare I go presuming so
Cause that’s an individual thing
An individual thing

Session / Album Information


“Individual Thing” was recorded on January 25, 1971 and released that year on the album Love Story.

Individual Thing

Listen to Individual Thing on Spotify. Tony Bennett · Song · 1971.

This recording released on:

  • 1971: Columbia LP 12″: C 30558 — Love Story
  • 2011: Disc #41 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK40) Love Story

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