Irving Berlin with Ethel Merman and Richard Rodgers

Irving Berlin with Ethel Merman and Richard Rodgers

you're just in love

The idea for this song came from Ethel Merman, who was so impressed with the reception that Russell Nype had received for “It’s a Lovely Day Today” that she told Berlin, according to Nype, "I want a number with the kid.” Helmy Kresa, who began making piano arrangements for Berlin with “Blue Skies” in 1926 and who became his chief arranger and head of his company’s music department, recalled the writing of “You’re Just in Love”: "I was with him all through the New Haven and Boston try-outs. After we opened in New Haven... it became apparent that Russell Nype, the juvenile lead, was the surprise hit of the show. Also that Ethel Merman needed one more comedy song in the second act. At that time, we had a very successful revival of an old Berlin song 'Play a Simple Melody' which is a double number—one smooth melody against a rhythmic melody. Mr. Berlin said it would be wonderful if he could write a similar song for Merman and Nype... "

"That was the middle of the first week in New Haven and for the next four or five days, especially over the weekend, Mr. Berlin worked hard on that song. He took two lines that he had from a song he wrote for Annie Get Your Gun entitled 'Something Bad’s Gonna Happen' which read, 'I can hear people singing tho’ there’s no one there, I can smell orange blossoms tho’ the trees are bare.' With that to start on, he first wrote the sweet melody and I played it over and over again for him as he wrote the rhythmic counter-melody on top of it."

"The following Monday the song was finished and that night I made a piano part of it. On Tuesday morning of the second week in New Haven, Mr. Berlin sang 'You’re Just In Love' for Hayward, Lindsay & Crouse and Abbott and they all thought it was wonderful. After lunch, Ethel Merman and Russell Nype got a demonstration of the song by Mr. Berlin and myself. They learned it very fast and sang it together right then and there in Mr. Berlin’s room at the Taft Hotel... After the keys were set, Jay Blackton, the musical director, had the orchestration made by Joe Glover and on the following Sunday afternoon in Boston we rehearsed the orchestration with the singers in one of the ballrooms at the Bradford Hotel. The song was put into the show on opening night in Boston."


The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin Robert Kimball.jpg

Excerpt(s) from The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet, copyright © 2001 by The Estate of Irving Berlin, Robert Kimball, and Linda Emmet. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing. Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.