Any time I need a little reassurance that someone out there is actually listening to the background music I’m playing, I pull out an evergreen from 1945: “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.” When I hear singing – and I always do – I know my audience hears me.
Kiss me once and kiss me twice
And kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time.
Haven’t felt this way, my dear
Since don’t remember when.
It’s been a long, long time…
This crowd-pleaser was a collaboration between Sammy Cahn (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music), whose other successes include “Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week” (1944), “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (1945), and “Three Coins in the Fountain” (1954).
Harry James made a top-of-the-chart recording of “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” with vocals by Kitty Kallen. So did Bing Crosby, accompanied by Les Paul’s Trio:
“It’s Been A Long, Long Time” captured the emotions of servicemen returning home at the end of World War II. The words were equally meaningful to the loved ones they’d left behind.
Those sentiments still resonate with my elderly audiences. A listener named Sue Ellen responded to the song this way: “You got that right. It sure has been a long, long time.”
Her table companion laughed, then added, in a voice turned wistful, “You can say that again.”
Copyright © 2016 by Paulette Bochnig Sharkey
All rights reserved.