Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A House Is Not a Home

"A House Is Not a Home" (1964)
by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

A chair is still a chair
Even when there's no one sitting there;
But a chair is not a house,
And a house is not a home
When there's no one there to hold you tight,
And no one there you can kiss good night.

A room is still a room,
Even when there's nothing there but gloom;
But a room is not a house,
And a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart,
And one of us has a broken heart.

Now and then I call your name
And suddenly your face appears,
But it's just a crazy game
When it ends in tears.

Darling, have a heart,
Don't let one mistake keep us apart.
I'm not meant to live alone.
Turn this house into a home.
When I climb the stair and turn the key,
Oh, please be there still in love with me.

This is one of those songs I try to avoid because it tends to put me in one of those "lonely blue funks."  It's also one of those beautiful tunes that is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of your head once it's taken up residence ... lovingly referred to as an "earworm."  It was written for Dionne Warwick by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and appeared on the B-side (younger readers might not understand that reference) of her recording of "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)."  Although it wasn't a huge success for Warwick, it has been covered by numerous singers and musicians over the past nearly 50 years. 

My favorite version - the one that spawned my current earworm - is from the 2010 revival of the 1968 Bacharach, David, and Neil Simon musical Promises, Promises.  The song was not originally part of the musical, but it and "I Say a Little Prayer" (another Bacharach, David, Warwick collaboration) were added to the revival score to showcase the indisputable vocal talent of the show's star, Kristin Chenoweth.

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