World's Greatest Songs—The Way You Look Tonight

"Reading or singing the lyrics that Dorothy Fields wrote for Jerome Kern's lovely, lilting melody "The Way You Look Tonight," one would never guess that they are ironic. "Oh, but you're lovely," Fred Astaire sang to Ginger Rogers in Swing Time. "Never, never change...keep that breathless charm...just the way you look tonight." The way Ginger looked at the moment was awful—or, at least, Hollywood's version of awful: She was in the midst of shampooing her hair. Out of the film, this song (which won an Academy Award in 1936) has always been treated as a charming love song—which, of course, it is. But it just shows how deceptive words, particularly endearing words, can be when they are taken out of context." —Festival of Popular Songs

The Way You Look Tonight Lyrics
(Music by Jerome Kern and Lyrics by Dorothy Fields)

When I'm awfully low
And the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight.

Yes, you're lovely
With your smile so warm
And your cheek so soft.
There is nothing for me but to love you
Just the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart.
And that smile that wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.

Never, never change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it, 'cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight--
Just the way you look tonight.

SIDEBAR: "The Way You Look Tonight" has been rendered beautifully by an eclectic mix of some of the world's best performers. Notably, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and recently by Michael Buble. The song has also been covered hundreds of times by the greatest of jazz interpreters including Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald, to name just a few.

Fred Astaire - The Way You Look Tonight - from Swing Time - Sheet Music (Digital Download)

Astaire & Rogers Ultimate Collector's Edition (Flying Down to Rio / The Gay Divorcee / Roberta / Top Hat / Follow the Fleet / Swing Time / Shall We Dance / Carefree / The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle / The Barkleys of Broadway)

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