Brooklyn and her bridge have been featured in countless movies, stories and songs. My favorite song about the bridge was written for Sinatra in the 1947 MGM musical It Happened In Brooklyn. It was penned by the legendary team of lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer June Styne.
Their lilting tune and snappy, slightly sentimental lyrics effortlessly capture the look and feel of the bridge and the city. Here’s a taste of Cahn’s lyrics :
If you’ve been a rover
Journey’s end lies over the Brooklyn Bridge
Don’t let no one tell you
I’ve been tryin’ to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge
My favorite recording of Brooklyn Bridge is by Mel Tormé. (It was later sampled for a duet with Barry Manilow!) I came to appreciate Mel Tormé late in life. I’d dismissed him as just another finger-snapping lounge-lizard. How wrong I was! The man was a musical genius. Don’t believe me? Listen to his arrangements and vocals with the Mel-Tones. Get a hold of his original California Suite and his several albums with the brilliant arranger Marty Paich. If you enjoy pop, jazz, Tin Pan Alley, show tunes, swinging jazz and vocal harmony groups then you are in for a treat.
A great place to start is Mel Tormé Sings Sunday In New York. Come to think of it, that’s another under-rated song about New York! Cute movie, too!