Blue Skies is such a sweet song. It’s got a beautiful melody, great chords, and cool lyrics. What’s even cooler is the tension between talking about how everything is turning around and positive, and the chords have a distinctly minor, saddish feel.
I think that tension between the chords and the melody create a perfect tension to elevate the interest of the listener to this song.
It’s also great to have David Wiatrolik joining me on this tune. It’s fun to have someone local who I can play some swing tunes with.
Blue Skies (song) From Wikipedia
“Blue Skies” is a popular song written by Irving Berlin in 1926.
The song was composed in 1926 as a last-minute addition to the Rodgers and Hart musical Betsy. Although the show only ran for 39 performances, “Blue Skies” was an instant success, with audiences on opening night demanding 24 encores of the piece from star Belle Baker. During the final repetition, Ms. Baker forgot her lyrics, prompting Berlin to sing them from his seat in the front row.
In 1927, the music was published and Ben Selvin’s recorded version was a #1 hit. That same year, it became one of the first songs to be featured in a talkie, when Al Jolson performed it in The Jazz Singer. Another version of the song was recorded by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra in 1935 [Victor Scroll 25136]. 1946 was also a notable year for the song, with a Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film taking its title, and two recorded versions by Count Basie and Benny Goodman reaching #8 and #9 on the pop charts, respectively. Crossing genres, Willie Nelson’s recording of “Blue Skies” was a #1 country music hit in 1978. It was a major western swing and country standard already in 1939, by Moon Mullican, and in 1962 by Jim Reeves.
“Blue Skies” is one of many popular songs whose lyrics use a “Bluebird of happiness” as a symbol of cheer: “Bluebirds singing a song — Nothing but bluebirds all day long.”
Blue Skies Lyrics
I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev’ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they’re not gray anymore
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you’re in love, my how they fly
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on
I should care if the wind blows east or west
I should fret if the worst looks like the best
I should mind if they say it can’t be true
I should smile, that’s exactly what I do