George Gershwin

A Foggy Day (in London Town), song (from A Damsel in Distress, film)

    Description by Adrian Corleonis

    In early 1937 the Gershwin brothers were in Hollywood, at work on their second film for RKO, A Damsel in Distress, starring Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine. At a late-night songwriting session, Ira mused that no one had written a song about fog and asked,"how about 'a foggy day in London' or maybe 'foggy day in London Town'?" The refrain was born in under an hour, and the whole song was finished two days later. Verse, chorus, and lyrics possess the relaxed, conversational fluency which characterized the Gershwins' work in this final springtime -- a winsome, worldly casualness all the more persuasive for being the less insistent --

    A foggy day in London Town

    Had me low and had me down...

    How long, I wondered, could this last

    But the age of miracles hadn't passed

    For suddenly I saw you there,

    And through foggy London Town

    The sun was shining everywhere.

    Though set not in daylight London but on the moonlit grounds of a castle, Astaire's wistful rendering was lavished with special effects to make what theater chronicler Stanley Green called "a pictorial gem."

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music 309294
    2014 Decca
    2012 Heritage HTGCD 231
    2012 Warner Classics 678298
    2011 Warner Classics 2564678306
    2011 Decca 4782687
    2011 Decca
    2010 EnF / EnF Records 1206
    2010 Palm Records / Zebralution
    2009 RCA Victor Red Seal / RCA Red Seal 747250
    2009 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099969853
    2009 Guild Light Music 5155
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926413
    2008 Madacy Entertainment 53759
    2008 Madacy / Madacy Entertainment 53760
    2008 Delta Distribution 6719
    2007 ABC Classics 4765964
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 5850812
    2004 Decca 0002156
    2004 Avid AVC 537
    2004 Hyperion CDA 67457
    2004 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5862302
    2003 Nome Company Of Dallas, Inc / Orchard 1721
    2003 ATMA Classique 22253
    2003 Sony Classical S2K 89913
    2003 Universal 9809662
    2002 Orpheus Records / Park South Records 90645
    2001 Philips / Polygram 289468686
    2000 Metier 92030
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469139
    1999 Collins Records 12992
    1999 Avid MAK 107
    1999 EMI Classics / Angel Records 73380
    1999 BBC Music BBCW 10052
    1998 Avid 640
    1998 Avalon Records 22
    1997 Madacy 2977
    1997 Centaur Records 2328
    1996 Compose Records 9003
    1996 Collins Records 13622
    1995 Silva Treasury 3007
    1994 Bainbridge 1051
    1993 Musicmasters / MusicMasters 67104
    1993 Vanguard 6002
    1993 Bluebell 053
    1993 Sugo 89356
    1993 Sugo 89356
    1991 Philips / PolyGram 434274
    1990 CBS Masterworks / CBS Records / Columbia MK-42119
    1990 CBS Records 39700
    1990 RCA 5628
    1989 BMG / RCA 9613-2-R
    1989 CBS Records / Columbia 7927
    1987 CBS Records 42516
    Sony Classical Essential Classics 60648
    Musidisc 108252
    Amcam 10304
    Manu Music Productions 1528
    Smithsonian Records 107
    Capitol 90013
    Fat Boy 179
    Telarc Distribution 83337
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7692182
    Stereophile 010
    Pavane 7273
    Music Club Records 183
    RCA 60795