Harlem NocturneWords & Music by Earle Hagen & Sid Robin*, 1939
Recorded by Mel Torme, 1963
Em E9 Em B+ Em G Em G Em Am A noc - turne for the blues, played on a bro - ken heart string; Am A9 Am Am+7 C7 C B7 Cdim Em It's wail - ing out the news my ba - by is gone from me. Em E9 Em B+ Em G Em G Em Am Dark shad - ows in the rain, a tel - e - phone that won't ring; Am A9 Am Am+7 C7 C B7 Cdim Em Bm7-5 C7 Em Just mem - o - ries re - main of lovers that used to be. G Cdim Am7alt G G5 G6 Dm7 Cdim(IV) G G5 G6 Dm7 I miss the laughs and the fun, my spot in the sun, Cdim(IV) G G5 G6 Dm7 Am7 G g-g#-a-bflat-b-d When I was the one one and on - ly; C7 Gm7 Fdim C7 Gm7 The mu - sic and lights, those won - der - ful nights, D Am7 Bb D9 F Cdim D7 The morn - ing mist, the time we kissed; G G5 G6 Dm7 Cdim(IV) G G5 G6 Dm7 The laughs and the fun, my days in the sun, Cdim(IV) G G5 G6 Dm7 Am7 G g-g#-a-bflat-b-d They're o - ver and done and I'm lone - ly. C7 Gm7 C7 Gm7 Don't ask me to hide the heart - break in - side -- D Am7 Bb D9 G Bm7-5 F Cdim B7 The gleam - ing spark is gone the light went dark. Em E9 Em B+ Em G Em G Em Am This noc - turne for the blues took all and left me noth - in', Am A9 Am Am+7 C7 C B7 Cdim Em Noth - in' but the blues til baby comes back to me.
Suggested by recent visitor Sami Scot. The basis for many awesome sax-featuring big band recordings, this one has also been recorded by Charlie Barnet, Les Brown, Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Ray Anthony, Ted Heath and many other bands. Theme from the Mike Hammer TV Show, 1984.
I have seen at least two different sets of lyrics for this one, so I'm not entirely sure if Torme's version uses Hagen's or not -- but this is the set I prefer, so I'm including it.
Finally, the notation "g-g#-a-bflat-b-d" refers to a single-note bass run, rather than chords, so don't get confused.
A recent e-mail exchange with the wife of the composer prompted me to amend this chart to include the lyricist's name. Mrs. Hagen told me that while Earl did compose the song, he wrote no lyrics for it. There were actually two lyricists on this song, because there were two different sets of lyrics produced for this melody. The Mel Torme version which I used as the basis for my transcription used the lyrics of Sid Robin, who wrote his under the title of "Nocturne for the Blues." Dick Rogers wrote a different lyric under the title "Harlem Nocturne."