Blues In The Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)

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Blues in the Night 1941
Harold Arlen (m) Johnny Mercer (w)
From film “Blues in the Night”

Arlen was noted for writing songs to be sung in all-Black shows. He reports that he worked with Mercer a day and half over this song and it just wasn’t coming together. But then Mercer noticed the words “My mama done tol’ me” down at the bottom of the lyrics. He suggested they put it right at the beginning and the rest is history. The sequence in the film, by the way, in which this song is sung is in a jail.

Notes by Frank Behrens