Song Lyric Sunday: Jimmy Dorsey, “Tangerine”

Jim tells us "This week, the theme is songs that mention any fruit." There were a whole bunch that I could have used here, but just about half an hour ago I came up with the perfect choice: 1941’s "Tangerine," written by Victor Scherzinger with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was introduced in the 1942 film The Fleet’s In, starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Cass Daley and Betty Hutton. It was introduced by Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra. Other singer have performed it, most notably Frank Sinatra, bossa nova chanteuse Eliane Elias, Dean Martin, Lawrence Welk and others, about half vocal, half instrumental. It was also used, with different lyrics, in an ad campaign for Pillsbury’s Figurines diet snack. In one ad, an attractive and extraordinarly well-dressed woman sings the immortal words, "Figurines, crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch!" Here’s the song with the real lyrics, sung by Eberly and O’Connell.

The lyrics, from Lyrics.com:

Tangerine,
She is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine,
When she dances by
Senoritas stare and caballeros sigh
And I’ve seen
Toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine
Yes, she has them all on the run
But her heart belongs to just one
Her heart belongs to Tangerine

Tangerine,
She is all they say
With mascara’d eye and chapeaux by Dache.
Tangerine,
With her lips of flame
If the color keeps, Louis Philippe’s to blame.
And I’ve seen
Clothes on Tangerine
Where the label says “From Macy’s Mezzanine”.
Yes, she’s got the guys in a whirl
But she’s only fooling one girl
She’s only fooling Tangerine!

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday, and Song of the Day, for March 6, 2022.

14 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Jimmy Dorsey, “Tangerine”

    1. First time I mentioned the song to Mom, she sang the whole thing. I would guess your parents would be around Mom’s age (she was born in 1932), so they probably could do it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My friends who played in nightclubs and hotels sang this song. Sounded more like Frank’s version. She sang Satin Doll and Mac the Knife, Girl from Ipanema. Her voice was kind of like Karen Carpenter in range maybe, but blusier. Oh, a little Ann Murray maybe. Low. Lots of musicians in my intimate past. Just a guitar player, acoustical. He played classical gas and all, I think it was. Back when lounge singers were the thing. Miss that. Sarah died a year or so ago but Dave lives in Mobile.

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    1. I’ve always had a great appreciation for the standards and the people who do/did them. Your friend sounds like she had a fantastic voice, and I’m sorry you lost her.

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