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The Intersection of Science, Art, Music & Humanities

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Sunday, April 23, 2017


As promised for spring and our official poetry month, a quintessential jazz classic with melody by Tommy Wolf, poetic and sophisticated lyric by Fran Landesman—and performed by the incredible Bette Midler.


The combination of ironic words and gently flowing melody created this deeply memorable tune. Both vocal and instrumental versions have been popular since its 1955 release. 


The title is another jazz rendition of the opening line of T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land. April is indeed the cruellest month. 


This tune has been recorded by Betty Carter, June Christy, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Irene Kral, Julie London, Carmen McRae, Jane Monheit, Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Sarah Vaughan, Dianne Reeves and Barbra Streisand, with instrumentals recorded by Harry James, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell, Ellis Marsalis and Jimmy Greene. 


Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Once I was a sentimental thing;
threw my heart away each spring.
Now a spring romance
hasn't got a chance.
Promised my first dance to winter.
All I've got to show's a splinter
for my little fling.

Spring this year has got me feeling
like a horse that never left the post.
I lie in my room
staring up at the ceiling.
Spring can really hang you up the most.

Morning's kiss wakes trees and flowers,
and to them I'd like to drink a toast.
But I walk in the park
just to kill the lonely hours.
Spring can really hang you up the most.

All afternoon the birds twitter-twitt.
I know the tune. This is love, this is it.
Heard it before
and don't I know the score.
And I've decided that spring is a bore.

Love seems sure around the new year.
Now it's April. Love is just a ghost.
Spring arrived on time,
only what became of you, dear?
Spring can really hang you up the most.
Spring can really hang you up the most.

Love came my way. I thought it would last.
We had our day, now it's all in the past.
Spring came along, a season of song,
full of sweet promise
but something went wrong.

Doctors once prescribed a tonic.
Sulfur and molasses was the dose.
Didn't help one bit.
My condition must be chronic.
Spring can really hang you up the most.

All alone, the party is over.
Old man winter was a gracious host.
But when you keep praying
for snow to hide the clover,
spring can really hang you up the most.


Have an enchanted April.


Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff