The Pawnbroker

Composer Quincy Jones
Lyricist Jack Lawrence
Year Written 1965
About The Pawnbroker
After Jones completed the score for the 1964 film The Pawnbroker, he contacted lyricist Jack Lawrence to help him write a popular song for the film. The film starred Rod Steiger as Jewish pawnbroker who survived Auschwitz, but lost all his family and friends and then his faith in mankind and God. With help of a young assistant, played by Jesus Ortiz, the pawnbroker finally comes to terms with the horror of his past and starts to feel again.


One heart to trade or sell
One heart, an empty shell
Perhaps I’ll stop in some pawnbrokers shop
And see what he might pay for second hand hearts today
Or old dreams I’ll never use
Love songs I’d love to lose
Such worthless things
What scale could measure them
What other fool could be a fool like me and treasure them
Since you’re gone I wear you on this heart
How could I pawn this heart that still loves you?

Session / Album Information


“The Pawnbroker” was recorded on December 14, 1965 and released in 1966 on The Movie Song Album. It was arranged by Quincy Jones.

This recording released on:

  • 1966: Columbia LP 12″: CS 9272 — The Movie Song Album
  • 1966: Columbia LP 12″: CL 2472 — The Movie Song Album
  • 1966: CBS LP 12″: BPG 62677 — The Movie Song Album (UK)
  • 1997: Columbia CD: CK 09272 — The Movie Song Album
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 82876 87233 2 — The Movie Song Album
  • 2011: Disc #32 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK31) The Movie Song Album

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