Mood Indigo

Composer Duke Ellington, Barney Bigard
Lyricist Irving Mills
Year Written 1930
About Mood Indigo
Originally titled “Dreamy Blues,” Ellington wrote this song, which is based on a theme by Barney Bigard, who is said to have learned it from his New Orleans clarinet teacher, Lorenzo Tio. Ellington wrote the song specifically for “microphone transmission” and it was first played on a 1930 radio broadcast. Audiences loved the song, and so Irving Mills wrote the lyric, changing the name of the song to “Mood Indigo.” The song has been widely recorded by instrumental and vocal artists, including Tony Bennett, Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole.


You ain’t been blue; no, no, no.
You ain’t been blue,
Till you’ve had that mood indigo.
That feelin’ goes stealin’ down to my shoes
While I sit and sigh, “Go ‘long blues”.

Always get that mood indigo,
Since my baby said goodbye.
In the evenin’ when lights are low,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

‘Cause there’s nobody who cares about me,
I’m just a soul who’s
bluer than blue can be.
When I get that mood indigo,
I could lay me down and die.

Session / Album Information


“Mood Indigo” was recorded in May 1999 and released that same year on the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. It was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli.

Mood Indigo

Listen to Mood Indigo on Spotify. Tony Bennett · Song · 1999.

This recording released on:

  • 1998: Columbia CD: CK 63668 — Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool
  • 2000: Columbia/Legacy CD: CK 63570 — The Ultimate Tony Bennett
  • 2000: Sony Music CD: 63570 — The Ultimate Tony Bennett
  • 2002: Columbia/Legacy CD: 86634 — The Essential Tony Bennett
  • 2004: Columbia/Legacy CD: C5K 92784 — Fifty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett
  • 2008: Columbia/RPM/Legacy CD: 731397 — The Essential Tony Bennett [Limited Edition 3.0]
  • 2011: Disc #65 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK63) Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool
  • 2013: Columbia/Legacy – Sixty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett

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