My Funny Valentine
In my opinion, “My Funny Valentine” ranks up there with “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and Extreme’s “More Than Words” as one of the creepier, more disturbing songs ever written. I’ll tell you why in a moment, but first here’s Yoko playing “My Funny Valentine” with vocalist Rebecca Paris:
The song was written in 1937 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the musical Babes In Arms. Since then it’s appeared on well over 1,000 albums.
It always gets sung as if it’s the most romantic thing in the universe, but as far as I can tell, the entire song boils down to: “You’re a mess and not that bright but I love you anyway.”
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your Figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
What gives, Rodgers and Hart?
Probably the most famous version of this song was recorded in 1952 by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. Earlier this year it was announced that their version will be placed in the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for its historical significance. Here it is:
— Jason Crane is the webmaster of this site and host of The Jazz Session.