My Old Flame

Composer Arthur Johnston
Lyricist Sam Coslow
Year Written 1934
About My Old Flame
“My Old Flame” was written for the movie Belle of the Nineties, which starred Mae West. Mae West was an ardent Duke Ellington fan and insisted that he and his orchestra be hired to do the film and accompany her when she sang it.


The music seemed to be so reminiscent
I knew I heard it somewhere before
I wracked my recollections as I listened
When suddenly I remembered once more

My old flame
I can’t even think of her name
But it’s funny now and then
How my thoughts go flashing back again
To my old flame
My old flame

My old flame
My new lovers all seem so tame
For I haven’t met a gal
So magnificent, my only pal
As my old flame

I’ve met so many who
have fascinating ways
A fascinating gaze in their eyes
Some who took me up to the skies
But their attempts at love
Were only imitations of
My old flame
I can’t even think of her name
But I’ll never be the same
Until I discover what became
Of my old flame

Session / Album Information


“My Old Flame” was recorded in June 1996 and released in 1997 on the album Tony Bennett On Holiday. It was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli.

This recording released on:

  • 1997: Columbia CD: CK 67774 — On Holiday
  • 2011: Disc #63 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK61) On Holiday

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