I Titles

I (page 1)

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE TRUE TO YOU
see Appendix 1.c

I AM NO GOOD AT LOVE

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ISCOGRAPHY:

1961
Cut from Sail Away 1961 before it reached New York
Unpubl. MS
The lyrics of the song version are different to those of the published [in NCowardy CustardV] poem of the same title, but with much shared material. The overall mood is wistful, even a touch elegaic. NC's demo recording presents the piece in the form Refrain-Verse-Refrain; but the written-down MS version done at the time of preparations for SA is much shorter, with no middle verse section. The song's structure is rather too tied down by the phrases of the lyrics, and the melodic and harmonic elements do not combine to produce any really satisfactory sense of direction. The marriage of words and music is not comfortable, and one suspects the poem came first and the song was a later attempt to set it to music. At the close of the song there are just too many modulations too close together for comfort. For these reasons it's almost impossible to sing it well.
The fact that NC attempted the musical setting shows that he believed the verse's sentiment, so we may assume a high degree of autobiographicality. Equally, the fact that the song was summarily dropped from SA when the show was restructured in Philadelphia [NCD] and its subsequent complete disappearance into archives shows discimination on the part of the composer.
NCR 43: + pno. acc. Werner? (1961)

I CAN'T THINK

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(1928)
This Year of Grace (USA prod.) 1928 (Beatrice Lillie)
Unpubl. MS
The melody and rhythm - and the entire lyric - are a close pastiche of Gertrude Lawrence's popular number I DON'T KNOW (from London Calling! and Charlot's Revue of 1924) by Ronald Jeans and Philip Braham. In fact the song had been made popular by Phyllis Monkman in Tails Up ten years earlier. This pastiche merely marks the unusual longevity and general knowledge of the original - before apparently killing it dead. The melody, especially at its closing phrase, is decidedly eccentric, giving a much exaggerated parody of a pretty spiky original.

I DREAMED OF YOU
see Appendix 1.c

I FEEL SO TERRIBLY ALONE
see LADY WINDERMERE'S ARIA

I GAVE MY HEART AWAY
subtitled FIRST WALTZ

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(1937?)
Unused
Unpubl. MS
This is one of three MSS, subtitled First, Second and Third Waltzes, whose tentative dating derives from their being found in an archival envelope near material otherwise from an early draft for Operette [see BD]. The other two waltzes are titled JE T'AIME and THERE'S NO MORE TO SAY ABOUT LOVE.
This is a well-worked Viennese waltz of some grace and poise. Two 32-bar refrains sandwich a 24-bar episode, all showing four-bar melodic phrases. My feeling is that, while the melodies are good, the lyric is a bit mundane - and there's nothing outstandingly special about the way they have been put together.

I KNEW THAT YOU WOULD BE MY LOVE

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(1953)
After the Ball 1954 (Vanessa Lee and Peter Graves)
Sep.Publ.
Waltz aria. Lord Windermere's love song to Lady W, music No.3 in Act I. It is reprised at the end as a duet when they are reconciled.
The verse section is perhaps a bit weak. The refrain is a fast waltz, whose main theme - a repetition of a downwards 6th interval - is effective, and somewhat reminiscent of the repetitious melodic patterns of the MIRABELLE WALTZ. Vanessa Lee (OCR 15) is excellent for the pacing of the main lyrical phrases and uses little vocal “swoops” up and down, showing what character can be brought to bear on even a repetitious melodic pattern.
The second half of the melody, where the top and bottom notes of the descending interval are each extended further, is pleasing; but despite the fact that it it is the strongest waltz number in the score (much stronger than SWEET DAY, which was supposed to be the “big” waltz number), it is not really a strong enough tune to carry major reprises.
OCR 15: Vanessa Lee & Peter Graves (1954)
ONR 14: Joan Sutherland + orch. (1966)
ONR 00: Kristin Huxhold & Paul Carlin (2005)

I LIKE AMERICA

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(1949)
Ace of Clubs 1950 (Graham Payn & Ace Girls)
Café de Paris 1951 (but cut from that)
Sep.Publ.
NCSB
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
Point number. At Manchester during the pre-London tour, this number was the second half opener. By the time the show reached London IN A BOAT ON A LAKE WITH MY DARLING had been inserted in that spot.
As printed in NCSB the song was more in the "show" shape, with full introductory duet between chorus and solo. The archive MS by Robb Stewart has more syncopations in the opening bars, and the verse starts at "I don't care for China...". This is how NC reverted to performing it in cabaret. Although the piece included the Ace girls, it was not part of the 'club floorshow', but a show-off song for Graham Payn.
An unusual upbeat comedy song, in that it is not in 6/8 tempo but a controlled 2/2. It is quite melodically repetitious, but lyrically and structurally strong, with long, very rhythmic lyric/melodic lines full of interior rhymes. It has an unusually extended "middle 8" section which is actually a "middle 16", and a nice progressive twist to the harmony as the lyric is lengthened on its final line. Twiggy (ONR 12) brings an ice-dry acerbic quality to the song which is good for it, and I think better than NC's own!
OCR 14: Graham Payn (1950)
NCR 34: +C. de P. Orch. cond. acc. Hackforth (1951)
NCR 40: arr./orch. cond . & pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 12: Twiggy + combo. acc. Tom Fay (1999)
ONR 16a: Courtney Kenney (2001)

I LIVE IN A WORLD OF MY OWN
see Appendix 1.c

I LOVE MY BABIES BEST

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(1927)
Manchester try-out of This Year of Grace! (but dropped)
MUSIC LOST. Lyrics were published in the Book of Lyrics for Cochran's 1928 Revue (pre-London title of This Year of Grace!) at Act I No.6, as "SONG " (Maisie Gay). [At that time, it was common practice for a small booklet of the lyrics of a musical show to be produced for sale in the theatre.] An odd disappearance; unless perhaps the piece was a late addition during rehearsal and sheet-music never completed or filed in London by NC in the first place.

I MUSTN'T SAY THAT
see Appendix 1.c

I NEVER KNEW

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DISCOGRAPHY:

Early July 1946 [NCD]
Pacific 1860, 1946 (Mary Martin and Graham Payn)
Publ.Vocal Score
+ publ.Pno. Sel.
A duet aria for Kerry and Elena (Music No. 19) towards the end of Act II, following the chorus number THIS IS A NIGHT FOR LOVERS which sets up the scene. The piece was later revived for inclusion in Sail Away (1961), when it was turned into a solo and a line of lyrics was changed, but it was not in the end reused.
This is one of a number of pieces in Pacific 1860 which is barely known, having never been published outside the vocal score. A bit unjustly so in this instance, since it is a graceful piece musically. The refrain melodies, in flowing 2/4 quavers, each rise and fall like the swellings of an amorous breast, and a short interlude where the duet begins leads to a duet refrain. There is a good deal of passion in the lyrics. However, in the lyrics rest the problem, because they are of course couched in rather 'Period' terms, which does not make for a convincing modern love-song.
OCR 13: Mary Martin (1946)
NCR 29: Acc. Drury Lane Orch. cond. Mantovani (1947)

I OFFER YOU MY HEART

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(1953)
After the Ball 1954 (Shamus Locke)
Unpubl. MS
Duet aria in which Lord Darlington makes his avowal of love and Lady Windermere spurns it.
A slowish 4/4 number with rich harmonies and with notable use made of the interval of the downwards seventh. While the piece is by no means unpleasant neither is it particularly memorable, and as a musical construct it seems not to be able to make up its mind where it is going. It is almost as if NC was trying to reflect in his music the sentiment contained in the lyrics, "I'm afraid of being myself". It was not recorded on OCR 15 on account of Shamus Locke being under another exclusive recording contract at the time.
ONR 00: David Stalter & Kristin Huxhold (2005)

I PREFER TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE

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1923?
London Calling! (second edition), December 1923
MUSIC and lyrics LOST
The only knowledge of this number comes from printed programmes, which list a song of this title credited to Coward.

I REMEMBER
see Appendix 1.c

I SAW NO SHADOW

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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1944-45) (see BD, p.223)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (Mary Martin)
Sep.Publ.
Romantic aria. A very satisfactory and rather neglected song whose refrain features pleasing modulations and an unexpected reuse of an earlier melodic/rhythmic phrase at its conclusion. The change of harmony in the interlude at “cold was the starlight” to Gb, shifting in the next bar to G and then back again, is also noteworthy and effective. NC slips in a little Gershwin-esque harmonic accompaniment at the end of the first phrase of the refrain.
The piece was apparently written rather earlier than the main genesis of Pacific 1860 when NC was sketching out ideas for his ‘Samolan Operette’ (see BD).
OCR 13 is well worth listening to. We do not exactly recommend ONR 27 below; it is included because it is the only known recent recording.
OCR 13: Mary Martin (1946)
NCR 29: + Drury Lane Orch. cond. Mantovani (Jan 1947)
NCR 30: + orch. cond. Mantovani (Jun 1947)
ONR 27: Richard Conrad (1998)

I TAKE TO YOU
see Appendix 1.a

I TRAVEL ALONE

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Sept.1934 (or before)
Not used with any show
Sep. Publ. 1934
NCSB
NCG2
Ballad with strong autobiographical overtones. Cole Lesley considered it "one of the most indicative, self-revealing songs [NC] ever wrote". [CL]
Its effectiveness is partly due to the unusual opening of the melody - a long-held note to start - and partly to its underlying harmonic shifting (bars 1-2-3 of the refrain) which gives the theme an ambivalence between major and minor tonalities - the predominant characteristic of 'the blues'. It lends the song a haunting quality that is exquisitely balanced between lightness and remorse. This harmonic mood is also echoed at the end of the "dominant" phrase, "No remembered love can ever find me", and it is further cemented into the song in the simple two-chord accompaniment to bars 1-4 of the verse/interlude. The second half of the interlude does one of those delicious Coward keychanges (from Eb to F major via Gb!) which excellently supports and strengthens the impact of the lyric at this point.
Listening to the song again recently, it struck me that it is an almost perfect match of musical phrase and shape to the attached lyric: each lyric phrase, however the natural word-stresses fall, has a musical shape which ensures that the ‘right’ words are lent extra weight. It is an excellent example of a song whose lyric alone, on the page, lacks shape and impact, even appears a little trite; but joined with its melody, it becomes poetry of a high order. The slightly different ending of the second refrain is extremely well-judged musically. More generally, the whole pace and gentle steady trudging of the accompaniment suggest an appropriate pedestrian movement.
NC's own recording of the song (NCR 13) follows the structure: refrain (with short ending) - interlude - refrain (with extended ending), which seems entirely satisfactory. More than satisfactory is also Carroll Gibbons' accompaniment which displays finely-balanced rubati and a tempi within a delicate swing piano style.
It will be clear that a musician finds a great deal to appreciate in this song. Ian Bostridge (ONR 23) has said, "[NC] may not be Schubert, but he's not a million miles away". Perhaps this song gets close.
ONR 08: Alberta Hunter + Jack Jackson orch. (25 Oct 1934)
ONR 51: Sam Browne + Ambrose Orch. (25 Oct 1934)
NCR 13: acc. Carroll Gibbons (29 Oct 1934)
ONR 50: "Hutch" (Dec 1934)
ONR 05: Bobby Short (1972)
ONR 23: Ian Bostridge acc. Jeffrey Tate (2002)

I WANT A MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE
see MY KIND OF MAN

I WANTED TO SHOW YOU PARIS

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(1959) (from Later Than Spring before it became Sail Away)
unused
Unpubl. MS
The reprise was titled simply PARIS in the MS.
See BD p.305-308 for details of the original dramatic context of this and other songs from LTS.
This is, effectively, NC's own last love song for Paris. As performed by NC the piece starts with a relaxed lyrical refrain, with a change to a more rhythmic interlude before the refrain is repeated.
It is a rather lovely tune with nostalgic intent, starting high and falling gently downwards like a sigh. The interlude is much more lilting, more of a conscious enjoyment of lyric rhymes, and perhaps it does not sit altogether comfortably with the mood of the refrain. I also feel that particularly at the ending of the refrain the song's sense of key is unsettled, due to a slight lack of melodic direction. Perhaps this is a good thing? The song is effective in what it sets out to do, which is to paint an affectionately nostalgic image.
NCR 42: pno. acc. ?Gamley (1959/60)

I WENT TO A MARVELLOUS PARTY

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(1938)
Said to have been written for Bea Lillie - certainly sung by her, in Set To Music (USA) 1939
Sep.Publ.
NCSB
STA
NCG1
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
Comedy point number. The song was inspired by an Elsa Maxwell beach party in the south of France in 1937 or 1938 to which NC and Beatrice Lillie were invited to come "just as they were", only to discover that the hundred or so guests in full evening dress were expecting them to provide the entertainment. NC records that "this whole glittering episode was my original inspiration" for the song” [NCSB].
Confusion over the "correct" title for this song was caused by the fact that NCL (1965) for some reason gave 'I've Been To a Marvellous Party' as the title, and the rot set in. Up until this point all sources gave 'I Went...' as the title. The contemporary recordings by NC and BL use the 'I've Been...' lyrics only at the start of the second and fourth refrains, which works fine; but the 'I've Been...' version commands little respect as a title, since the lyrics at the end of the verse sections ('On Saturday night -' and 'Wednesday last -) must gramatically be followed by 'I Went...' for the first and third refrains.
This is a song which depends for its effect entirely on its lyrics, and which is most often recited (or worse) rather than sung. In fact its music is little more than a series of accompanying chords, no more than the least obtrusive of musical props, but all the same the accompanying harmonies have form, development and direction. NCR 30 is well-balanced. Bea Lillie on OCR 11 is surprisingly "straight", perhaps because of having to get through the song in a certain limited amount of time for the recording; but her inimitable added laughs and occasional long-drawn-out vowels are, on the whole, more sympathetic to the song than NC's own breakneck pacing and over-accented interpretation on NCR 40.
This song is among the top thirty Coward numbers in terms of current royalties earning potential (see Appendix 3).
NCR 21: orch. cond. Emmet Dolan (Jan.1939)
OCR 11: Beatrice Lillie, pno. acc. Will Irwin (Feb.1939)
NCR 30: pno. acc. Mantovani (1947)
NCR 40: + pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 07: Patricia Routledge (Cowardy Custard, 1972)
ONR 25: Kernan, Robertson, Gold acc. Greenwell (1994)
ONR 52: Elaine Stritch acc. Rob Bowman (At Liberty, 2002)

I WILL NOT KISS YOUR HAND, MADAME
see Appendix 1.a

I WISH I WASN'T QUITE SUCH A BIG GIRL

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(1946)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (Daphne Anderson & girls)
Publ.Vocal Score (Act I, music No.7)
Point number. The published copy shows one or two minor rhythmic and enharmonic modifications from, but is substantially an exact printing of, one of the earliest and neatest Robb Stewart MSS in the archives.
In view of its strong lyric and musical shape, the refrain at least of this song is something of a neglected treasure. But it is an easy thing to neglect in today's socially correct times, since the premiss is that it needs to be sung by "a big girl", and she bemoans her "strange irresolute glands", being generally ignored and passed over, and the probability that no chap is ever going to make love to her.
There are three crisp 16-bar refrains in gently rhythmic 4/4, two of which are preceeded by a less impressive 'verse' introduction section between Penelope and her girlfriends which sets the thing up.
OCR 13: Daphne Anderson &c. (1946)

I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?

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India, June 1944
Concert party tours, 1944
Sigh No More, 1945
Sep.Publ.
NCSB
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
Lyric-based comedy song. It was inspired by NC & Norman Hackforth's host officer during their visit to India, Major Mike Umfreville, one of Mountbatten's ADC's, who had met them on arrival at Ceylon and who was accredited to NC for the whole tour of Assam, India and Burma. NH remembered him as a "jolly pukkah sahib". Entries in the Noel Coward Diaries (unpublished) show that the song was started on June 26th, “worked on” on the 29th, and “finished” on the 30th, for all of which time NC and NH were staying at the villa of a Scottish planter and his wife, Bill and Jean Fleming, at Digboi [NCA]. The song was tried out at a show in Calcutta, "where of course it absolutely pulled the place down" [NH], and "only a very few outraged 'Indian Colonels' protested". [NCSB]
The song mines a rich comedic vein that NC found during his wartime travels, and which also produced 'Uncle Harry' and 'Nina'. The music for the five refrains is little more than chords to spoken verse, but similarly to the song 'Marvellous Party' in its latter stages there is not only structure but pleasing melodic shape without which (at least in the accompaniment) it would be far less satisfactory. The two introductory verses are set to something with more musical shape of its own, with a touch of integrated matching of musical shapes to internal lyric rhymes.
NCR 27 has the dubious distinction of preserving a bit of original lyric which was subsequently thought to be a little too close to the wind for comfort and never afterwards used or published. The final refrain originally began: "Whatever became of old Paddy?/ Have they let out that chap Delavigne?/ There was some beastly story about a golf caddie/ In tears on the seventeenth green." Not hard to understand that suggestions of such loose behaviour would have been altogether too daring for London in 1945, where homosexuality at all was illegal, quite apart from the unsuitable age implications. Equally, it is hard to imagine what the troops in India would have thought of it.
NCR 27: pno. acc. Norman Hackforth (Calcutta, 1944)
NCR 28: pno. acc. Robb Stewart (14 Sep.1945)
OCR 12: Cyril Ritchard (1945)
NCR 40: + orch./pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 07: Trio (Cowardy Custard, 1972)
ONR 25: David Kernan, Paul Bateman (1994)
ONR 16a: Courtney Kenney (2001)

I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY
(FORTUNE TELLING DUET)

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1923/24
Yoiks! (Revue) 1924 (Mary Leigh & Richard Dolman)
Unpubl. MS in hand of Elsie April.
Foxtrot-tempo revue duet. It is possible that the song was later considered for inclusion in NCSB, as the archives preserve a further MS with the words added into the music copy in Norman Hackforth's script.
The quality of the song is certainly high enough to warrant publication. It's in the same mood and style as 'I'm So In Love' from the same era, and is certainly no worse. It has a very integrated shared-lyric structure between the lady fortune-teller and her male client who loves (or at least is trying to seduce) her. Interspersed between her phrases saying what she "sees" in his palm are his interjections. The final line - the title words - is a nice twist of word-sense. In the second refrain the roles are reversed.
The other NC song in Yoiks! was FORBIDDEN FRUIT.

I'D NEVER , NEVER KNOW

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1949 (in typescript for Hoi Polloi, the forerunner to...)
Ace of Clubs, 1950 (Pat Kirkwood)
Unpubl. MS
Torch song in which Pinkie bemoans the inevitability of the loved one's parting.
It is a shame that the verse section feels a little weak, because the refrain has much to recommend it. It is a controlled piece with an accompaniment whose characterisation (the MS is marked "very legato") is integral to its structure and effect. At the start of the refrain lines the melody is quite static and (unusually and effectively) starts on the interval of the 9th above the keychord. I have long considered this one of the most rewarding pieces in the entire AoC score, and a great shame that it isn't more exposed.
OCR 14: Pat Kirkwood (1950)