Oscar Levant makes his debut at Gershwin 100 because there were just too few Oscar Levant songs available online. I have played his wonderful “Blame It on My Youth” and assumed someone of his talent would have many other high-quality and long-forgotten songwriting gems. I found them at the Lilly Library of Indiana University.
Levant (1906-1972) was a concert pianist, actor, author, media personality, friend of George Gershwin, and a renowned wit who was famous for his piano interpretations of Gershwin’s work.
“All Dressed Up and No Place to Go” was recorded by Artie Shaw’s band and later by ice skater turned jazz singer Jane Fielding. You can hear her version here. The lyrics are by Edward Heyman who wrote with so many great American composers including Dana Suesse, Kay Swift, Sigmund Romberg, Arthur Schwartz, Victor Young, as well as writing the lyrics to Levant’s “Blame It on My Youth”. If you would like to see him in his heyday he can be heard singing with Dana Suesse in an old film short here.
Download fake-book style sheet music to “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go” here: All Dressed Up and No Place to Go
Lyrics to “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go” by Edward Heyman:
I can see the moon through my window pane,
and the street below is a lover’s lane.
Couples, so young and gay,
going their own sweet way.
Though it’s bright outside,
in my heart there’s rain.
All dressed up tonight and no place to go.
Just my mirror will know
of the tears I’m revealing.
All dressed up tonight and no one to see.
Just the four walls and me.
It’s the loneliest feeling.
It’s all like a dream and everything seems so wrong.
I still hear you say, “It’s better this way, so long!”
All dressed up tonight and no place to go!
For there’s nothing to do
when I haven’t got you.