The Suitcase Lady


December 26, 2017, 11:57 am

If asked to pick my favorite romantic song, I wouldn’t hesitate a second. “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” gets me every time. And I must add, I loved this song long before I lived on a hill, or more precisely, a cliff.

Fortunately for me, I am not the only one who is grabbed by this piece. My favorite radio station, Radio Swiss Jazz, plays it almost every week. Since their format is listener-driven, the song must have many fans.

Jazz vocalists love it as well. Recordings have been made by Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford, Mel Torme, Johnny Mathis, Nina Simone, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall.

But now for a funny note. The song came on as we were eating dinner last week, and I wondered aloud if it originated in a movie or musical. The Oracle was consulted.

With music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Roger Hammerstein II, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” was written for the 1937 movie, “High, Wide and Handsome”. The movie is no longer available in its entirety, and when we read the synopsis and saw a YouTube clip, we know why…’s a really, really bad movie. When Irene Dunne sings this gorgeous song, she appears to be sitting in a Teletubbies set. If the song wasn’t a work of genius, it never could have survived the film.

Now that you have been forewarned, click below for the original version. And click here for the fabulous Mel Torme interpretation.

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