• Someone to watch over me
  • SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, from left: Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, 1987, Columbia
  • Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers in "Someone to Watch Over Me", 1987 (Columbia)
  • Title: Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)

Someone to Watch Over Me (Bow Street, Book 1)

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Notes: Lee Wiley is accompanied only by Fats Waller on organ for "Someone to Watch Over Me." According to , Eddie Condon (who played guitar on some of the other tracks during the session for the Gershwin portion of this CD) "must have been impressed [with the song] since he added it to his repertoire in the mid-1940s," which was important in bringing "Someone To Watch Over Me" to the attention of the jazz community and eventually to the public in general after the song had slipped in popularity. Wiley continued to sing with Condon's band for several years after the session with Waller, including Condon's broadcasts from Town Hall in NYC. She often performed "Someone to Watch Over Me" on their gigs and made the recording on , just below.

Editor's note: Only one of the five male singers, Cheyenne Jackson, who performs "Someone to Watch Over Me" on this page, uses Ira's original lyrics text. This may be because he wants to be authentic to that text, or, perhaps, because he wants to be authentic to himself as one who desires to be watched over by a man. Whether or not the latter is the case, that the recording was made in 2010 suggests being authentic to oneself is possible at that date in a way it wouldn't have been for earlier generations of performers who might have wanted to do the same. It is also interesting to note that if in Jackson's rendition this is a song being sung by a man about a man, Jackson chooses not to change the word "girls" to "men," which would have made things entirely clear. That he doesn't, may leave things a bit ambiguous but doesn't rule out anything either. Ambiguity in art is not always, or perhaps even mostly, disadvantageous as it would be in, say, mathematics.

Reviews

Someone to watch over me - Susan Boyle - Vevo

Writing in 1972, Alec Wilder, states that he heard that the 1926 Gertrude Lawrence Broadway performance of "Someone To Watch Over Me" in Oh, Kay! was taken at a tempo "fast to the degree that none of the ballad quality associated with the song for so many years could have been present" (). He explains this by noting that the only direction George Gershwin included on the sheet music was "sherzando" (in a playful or sportive manner), implying that Lawrence and the orchestra must have done it that way. That Gertrude Lawrence sang the song "scherzando" on stage, despite what Wilder may have remembered hearing, was not the case. The notion that she did runs counter to Ira Gershwin's comments in his . There he states that the music originally marked "scherzando" was intended to be used for a dance number, but when George and he realized it would work better as a ballad (.), it was decided to put the newly slowed down version of the music aside "until the proper stage occasion arose for it" (). This all occurred before George and Ira had even seen Wodehouse's and Bolton's. The spot for the song finally settled on came mid-way through act 2 and found her singing it as a ballad. Although there is no known recording of Lawrence's on stage performance, her 1926 New York studio recording as well as her , are presumably both taken at similar tempos as her contemporaneous stage performances, a tempo described by as "an animated medium pulse" not atypical for the performance of a ballad. Either Wilder's threshold tempo for a ballad is quite low or he must have heard or remembered incorrectly how Lawrence sang it. He is, of course, exactly correct about "the ballad quality associated with the song" ever since. Here is how she recorded it during the run of the show: