In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here is Joshua Bell and Broadway singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth performing Rodgers and Hart’s ballad, My Funny Valentine. The song was originally written for the 1937 musical, Babes in Arms. It has become a jazz and pop standard with notable performances by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and others.
The melody by Richard Rodgers is unusual for a Broadway ballad. Set in an atmospheric minor key, it conveys a beautiful sense of melancholy. Listen to the way it gradually reaches higher, slipping back and forth between minor and major.
This is an excerpt of Bell’s 2009 recording, Joshua Bell At Home With Friends:
My Funny Valentine lyrics by Lorenz Hart:
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favourite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day