Here’s our newest lesson on “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers and Hart.
Click below to download a pdf of the lyrics and chords for this song.
“My Funny Valentine” is a show tune from the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms. The show opened in New York City on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green) sings “My Funny Valentine” to Valentine “Val” LaMar (played byRay Heatherton). Billie pokes fun at some of Valentine’s characteristics, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn’t want him to change.
The song first hit the charts in 1945, performed by Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor. It only appeared for one week and hit #16. In 1957 it was sung by Kim Novak in the film Pal Joey. The song is part of the Great American Songbook and has had many notable recordings. “My Funny Valentine” became a popular jazz standard and is part of the Great American songbook. It has appeared on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists, including Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Andy Williams, Shirley Bassey, Miles Davis, Etta James, Nico, Chaka Khan, Elvis Costello, and Rickie Lee Jones.
In 2015 it was announced that the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker’s version of “My Funny Valentine” will be inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for the song’s “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy”. Jenny performs the song in A minor. Frank Sinatra recorded it in B minor and the theatrical version was in B minor. Ella Fitzgerald recorded in G minor.