Song Lyric Sunday: “Stars Fell On Alabama”

Jim asked us for songs that featured "Heavenly Bodies, Planets, Moon, Sun, Stars," a suggestion given to him by King Ben’s Grandma. I don’t suppose anyone else will come up with this, but I said that last week…

My song is "Stars Fell On Alabama," a standard composed in 1934 by Frank Perkins with lyrics by Mitchell Parish. Wikipedia tells us…

The title of the song appears to have been borrowed from the title of the 1934 book of the same name by Carl Carmer. It refers to a spectacular occurrence of the Leonid meteor shower that had been observed in Alabama in November 1833, "the night the stars fell." As reported by the Florence Gazette: "[There were] thousands of luminous bodies shooting across the firmament in every direction. There was little wind and not a trace of clouds, and the meteors succeeded each other in quick succession."

One of the earliest versions was recorded in 1934 by Guy Lombardo, with his brother Carmen doing the vocal. It’s been covered many times, by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Anita O’Day, and others. The version I’ve chosen is by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, from their 1956 album Ella And Louis. It always amazes me that they sound so good together, because they have such different styles, but they do.

The lyrics, from AZLyrics:

We lived our little drama
We kissed in a field of white
And stars fell on Alabama
Last night

I can’t forget the glamour
Your eyes held a tender light
And stars fell on Alabama
Last night

I never planned in my imagination
A situation – so heavenly
A fairy land where no one else could enter
And in the center – just you and me

My heart beat like a hammer
My arms wound around you tight
And stars fell on Alabama
Last night

From 2002 through 2009, "Stars Fell On Alabama" replaced "Heart O’ Dixie" on the Alabama license plate ("Heart O’ Dixie" was moved to a less-prominent location on the plate). It has since been replaced with "Sweet Home Alabama."

That’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for October 10, 2021.

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “Stars Fell On Alabama”

  1. Hi John – definitely a great song and totally appropriate … and yes I’d love to sit on a balcony on a warm summer’s evening and watch the stars appear, then the moon to spread their delight. Lovely – thank you – Hilary

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  2. This reminds me of one of those songs that you sit down on your front porch and just relax with a warm cup of coffee and gaze at the stars, with or without someone to hold you tight. Great song! Thanks for introducing me to it.

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  3. What a duo – you could not ask for a better rendition. This takes me back to my parents waltzing to records in our living room. What a great memory. Thanks, John. Perfect selection today.

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  4. The two ‘star’ songs that immediately come to mind for me are ‘Starman’ by David Bowie and ‘Gonna Make You A Star’ by David Essex… 🙂

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