This arrangement was commissioned by my former LA Master Chorale tenor colleague, Paul Neal. Paul discovered Sylvia McNair’s and Andre Previn’s mesmerizing recording of this song, and imagined it for choir. Just before he moved out east to teach, we discussed the possibility while on a Master Chorale bus to the Ojai Festival. The idea became a reality, and Paul premiered the piece in 2007 with the Valdosta State University Concert Choir.
Of course Jerome Kern is one of the great American songwriters, but I was delighted to learn that a favorite author of mine, P.G. Wodehouse, was the lyricist for this song. Wodehouse is most famous for his “Jeeves” and “Wooster” characters, but utilized his literary gifts in many ways throughout his career.