Irving Berlin

Always, song (from "The Cocoanuts")

    Description by Robert Cummings

    On January 4, 1926, the already hugely successful composer Irving Berlin married Ellin Mackay and presented this song to her as a wedding present. It was not, as has been widely thought, originally written for the Marx Brothers' musical The Cocoanuts. The song was premiered by Belle Baker in 1926 and two best-selling recordings of it immediately appeared, one by Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra and another by George Olsen & His Orchestra. The song opens in a subdued manner, Berlin's lyrics recounting the "blue days" of a young man or woman before meeting his or her betrothed. The opening verse is lovely in its wistful character, and when the refrain comes ("I'll be loving you/Always....") the music brightens and turns fervently passionate, the theme soaring into higher ranges in its outpourings of love. The word always is repeatedly sung as assurance of love throughout ("I will understand/Always, always...."), the music rising high on the first syllable and dropping down on the second, the effect sweet and touchingly sentimental. At over four minutes, this masterful gem is one of Berlin's longer songs.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 RCA Red Seal 88875032232
    2009 Membran 224062
    2009 EMI Classics 35729
    2008 Dutton Vocalion CDVS 1952
    2007 Dynamic / Dynamic Nostalgia 2958
    2005 Vocalion 4317
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 31553
    2005 Psallite 6047
    2004 Reader's Digest Music 4017
    2003 UAE / United Audio Entertainment 3612
    2003 Bayview 24
    2003 Castle Pulse / Sanctuary Records PLSCD 644
    2002 Memoir / Memoir Classics 563
    2002 Dutton Vocalion / Vocalion 4118
    2002 Park South Records / Orpheus Records / Park South Records 90644
    2001 Shell Castle 2
    2000 Tuxedo / Tuxedo Music 5052
    2000 Preiser Records 89501
    2000 Prism Entertainment 437
    1999 EMI Classics / Angel Records / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243556722
    1998 Angel Records / EMI Music Distribution 5564152
    1997 BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Records 64628
    1997 Conifer 52250
    1996 Madacy Distribution / Alshire 2402
    1995 Klavier International / Klavier Records KCD-11002
    1994 Avid 517
    1994 MusicMasters 65120
    1992 Angel Records / Capitol 64670
    1990 Newport Classic 60078
    1989 Omega Music Poland OCD-3004
    Golden Stars GSS 5607
    Newport Classic 60078