Everlasting Love Songs of the 40s

Many important events happened during the 1940s; Mount Rushmore was completed in 1941, the "Big Bang" theory was formulated in 1946 and in 1949, George Orwell published his novel ‚ÄčNineteen Eight-Four. In terms of music, musicals were still very much in demand with the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein and Irving Berlin penning well-received show tunes.

01
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Again

Day's Break
Doris Day, 1945. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The melody of this song was composed by Lionel Newman and the lyrics written by Dorcas Cochran. This song was featured in the 1948 film Road House and recorded by several vocalists including Doris Day.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Again, this couldn't happen again
This is that once in a lifetime
This is the thrill divine

Related Video

Listen to Doris Day's recording courtesy of YouTube.

02
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Be Careful It's My Heart

Another quintessential Irving Berlin song featured in the 1942 musical Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Sweetheart of mine, I've sent you a valentine.
Sweetheart of mine, it's more than a valentine.
Be careful, it's my heart.

Related Video

Listen to Frank Sinatra's rendition of this song" via YouTube.

03
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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

One of the many song collaborations of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart. It was sung by Vivienne Segal (who played the role of Vera) in the 1940 Broadway musical Pal Joey. Many versions of this song were recorded by a number of performers such as Carly Simon, Jack Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

I'm wild again
Beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

Related Video

Watch the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald sing this song courtesy of YouTube.

04
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Day by Day

A song by Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl, and Paul Weston which was published in 1945 and recorded by Clydine Jackson. This song was also recorded by Frank Sinatra.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Day by day I'm falling more in love with you
And day by day my love seems to grow
There isn't any end to my devotion
It's deeper dear by far than any ocean

Related Video

Listen to Margarita Zaberska' rendition via YouTube.

05
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Dearly Beloved

This song by Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer was sung by Rita Hayworth in the 1942 film You Were Never Lovelier. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song that same year.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Tell me that it's true
Tell me you agree
I was meant for you
You were meant for me

Related Video

Watch this scene from the movie You Were Never Lovelier courtesy of YouTube.

06
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(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons

Published in 1945, the music was composed by William Best with lyrics by Deek Watson. This romantic song was recorded by several vocalists but the most popular version is by Nat King Cole.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I'll give you my heart

Related Video

Listen to this mesmerizing recording by the unforgettable Nat King Cole from YouTube.

07
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Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?

Published in 1945, this country song was written by Scotty and Lulu Belle Wiseman, also known as "The Sweethearts of Country Music." This song was recorded by artists from various genres; from Gene Autry to Eddie Cochran to Elvis Presley.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Could I tell you once again somehow?
Have I told with all my heart and soul how I adore you?
Well darling I'm telling you now

Related Video

Watch this YouTube video of Eddie Cochran singing this song.

08
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I Could Write a Book

Another Rodgers and Hart song performed by Gene Kelly and Leila Ernst in the 1940 musical Pal Joey. The song is also included in the 1957 film adaptation starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

If they asked me, I could write a book
About the way you walk, and whisper;
And look

Related Video

Listen to Frank Sinatra's recording of this song from YouTube.

09
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I Don't Want To Walk Without You

Published in 1941, this song was written by Frank Loesser with music by Jule Styne and recorded as a single in 1942 by Harry James with vocals by Helen Forrest

Lyrics (Excerpt)

I don't want to walk without you, Baby
Walk without my arm about you, Baby
I thought the day you left me behind
I'd take a stroll and get you right off my mind

Related Video

Listen to Helen Forrest sing this song via YouTube.

10
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I Wish I Didn't Love You So

Written by Frank Loesser and performed by Betty Hutton for the 1947 film The Perils Of Pauline.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

I wish I didn't love you so,
My love for you,
Should've ended long ago.

Related Video

Listen to Betty Hutton's sweet voice performing this song courtesy of YouTube.

11
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A Sunday Kind of Love

Published in 1946, this song was written by Barbara Belle, Anita Leonard, Louis Prima, and Stan Rhodes.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

I want a Sunday kind of love
A love to last past Saturday night
And I?d like to know it?s more than love at first sight

Related Video

Listen to Jo Stafford's flawless rendition of this song via YouTube.

12
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Long Ago and Far Away

A song by Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern published in 1944. It was featured in the film Cover Girl starring Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth. Other artists who covered this song include Bob Dylan and Henry Mancini and his Orchestra.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Long ago and far away,
I dreamed a dream one day
And now that dream is here beside me

Related Video

Listen to this song courtesy of YouTube.

13
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Some Enchanted Evening

Another unfading Rodgers and Hart song performed by Emile de Becque in the 1949 musical South Pacific.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger
You may see a stranger
Across a crowded room

Related Video

Listen to this YouTube video of Perry Como singing "Some Enchanted Evening."

14
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The Things We Did Last Summer

A successful song collaboration between lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne. This song was published in 1946 and recorded by The Lettermen, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, to name a few.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

The boat rides we would take, the moonlight on the lake
The way we danced and hummed our favorite song
The things we did last summer Ill remember all winter long

Related Video

Listen to Dean Martin's version of this song courtesy of YouTube.

15
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You Belong To My Heart

Published in 1941, the original title of this song was Solamente Una Vez with lyrics by Dora Luz and music by Agustin Lara; the English lyrics was written by Ray Gilbert.

Lyrics (Excerpt)

You belong to my heart
Now and forever
And our love had its start
Not long ago

Related Video

Listen to Gracie Fields' version of this song from YouTube.