Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#9: Swoon Easy!

J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie wrote "You Go To My Head" in 1938. Twenty-two years later, Sinatra and Riddle worked their magic on it for their one-of-a-kind album, Nice 'N' Easy:

That's some serious magic, no? What a gorgeous arrangement from Riddle. And what a performance from Sinatra.

The song's not bad either. This line --
Like a summer with a thousand Julys
-- is one of my all-time favorites from any song.

"You Go To My Head" is a potent intoxicant from beginning to end. Some highlights from Sinatra's masterful vocal:

The word "round" --
You go to my head
And you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne
"the very mention of you" --
You go to my head
Like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two
"makes my temperature rise" --
You go to my head
With a smile that makes my temperature rise
And then the climax:
Like a summer with a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes

Am I right, ladies?

And the very last line, sung on a single low note -- it's a perfect ending.

"You Go To My Head" is not quite what you'd expect from the songwriting team that came up with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  I'm hoping to hear from Mark Steyn, who has in fact recorded the latter song, on this one.

(There's an earlier Axel Stordahl version. The melody sounds quite different. Did Riddle alter it when he wrote his arrangement?)


  1. A great melody, sensitive lyrics, a stunning Nelson Riddle arrangement and a consummate performance by the premier ballad singer of classic American popular song. All these elements are magically combined in this performance.

  2. Yes, indeed. One of the very best.