The Midnight Sun

Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton

Composers Lionel Hampton, Sonny Burke
Lyricist Johnny Mercer
Year Written  1947, 1954 (lyrics)
About The Midnight Sun
This song was originally written as instrumental and was originally recorded in 1947 by the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. One night in 1954, Johnny Mercer was driving from Palm Springs to Los Angeles when he heard the instrumental on the radio; he began creating the lyrics for “The Midnight Sun” as he drove. With its lyrics, this song has been widely recorded, including artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé and Jo Stafford.


Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice
Warmer than the summer night
The clouds were like an alabaster palace
Rising to a snowy height
Each star its own Aurora Borealis
Suddenly you held me tight
I could see the midnight sun

I can’t explain
The silver rain that found me
Or was that a moonlit veil
The music of the Universe
Around me
Or was that a nightingale
And then your arms miraculously found me
Suddenly the sky turned pale
and I saw the midnight sun

Was there ever such a night
It’s a thrill
I still don’t quite believe
But after you were gone
There was still some
Stardust on my sleeve

The flame of it may dwindle
To an ember
And the stars forget to shine
And we may see the meadow in December
Icy white and crystaline
But oh my darling always I’ll remember
When your lips were close to mine
And we saw the Midnight Sun
The Midnight Sun

Session / Album Information


“The Midnight Sun” was recorded on September 11, 1972 and released that year on the album The Good Things In Life. It was arranged by Robert Farnon.

This recording released on:

  • 1972: MGM LP 12″: MV-5088 — The Good Things In Life
  • 1972: Verve LP 12″: V6 5088 — The Good Things In Life
  • 1972: Philips LP 12″: 6641297 — Spotlight On Tony Bennett (UK)
  • 2011: Disc #45 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK44) The Good Things In Life

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