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In the Still of the Night

September 12, 2014

Most of you know by now that I am a professional songwriter. I just released a book with my 1970s song lyrics, Three A.M. – The Complete 1970s Song Lyrics. It spills my soul a bit for those who might have heard some of my work. I am also a member of several internet groups of songwriters, where I have accepted my role as geezer par excellence. Yes, I’m the guy who used to actually mix records with an analog mixer (Oh my God!). Notice that I didn’t exclaim, “OMG.” Again, it’s the age thing.

In these various groups to which I belong I am always asked about what makes a good lyric. I carefully explain using my best high-stepping musical language. But when I am pressed for an example, I always go to Cole Porter’s In the Still of the Night. Why?  I’m glad you asked….

In the Still of the Night was written in 1937. Yes, that is a long time ago. But consider the following lines:

In the still of the night
As I gaze from my window
At the moon in its flight
My thoughts all stray to you

In the still of the night
All the world is in slumber
All the times without number
Darling when I say to you

Do you love me, as I love you
Are you my life to be, my dream come true
Or will this dream of mine fade out of sight
Like the moon growing dim, on the rim of the hill
In the chill, still, of the night

Like the moon growing dim, on the rim of the hill
In the chill, still, of the night 
In the chill, still, of the night …”

I’m sorry folks, it just doesn’t get any better. Cole Porter was a master of internal rhyming and could lay down a lyric like most of us lay down a newspaper. The guy was a genius.

Also consider the singers who successfully covered Porter’s song. To name only a very few, the list includes Della Reese, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Dion and the Belmonts, Frank Sinatra, The Lettermen, Sammy Davis Jr., Neil Diamond, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Vinton and Carly Simon. That’s a pretty impressive list of covers from this songwriter’s perspective!

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at

Books JPG

  1. allenrizzi permalink

    Definitely one of the best songs ever….


  2. Reblogged this on allenrizzi and commented:

    Saturday night thoughts…


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