I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Lyrics by Dorothy Fields; Music by Jimmy McHugh

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)


Marc De Bruyn (emdebe@village.uunet.be), August 27, 2003

When Dorothy Fields (1905-1974, lyricist) met composer Jimmy McHugh (1895-1969), they began writing for revues at Harlem's Cotton Club; in 1928 they scored an enormous hit with "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby", written for "Blackbirds of 1928", the longest running black musical of the Twenties.

Since then dozens of performers have recorded it: Art Tatum, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Big Joe Turner, Billie Holiday, Billy May, Bobby Darin, Cab Calloway, Charlie Christian, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Django Reinhardt, Doris Day, Duke Ellington, Earl Bostic, Ella Fitzgerald, Erroll Garner, Fats Domino, Fats Waller, Four Seasons, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Les Paul, Louis Armstrong, Marlene Dietrich, Mel Torme, Mills Brothers, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Tommy Dorsey, and of course the Stylistics (1975, "Thank You Baby"), after the Spinners and the O'Jays, the leading Philly soul group produced by Thom Bell (remember "You Are Everything", "I'm Stone in Love With You", and "You Make Me Feel Brand New"?). Also Monica Zetterlund performed "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"; she is a Swedish artist who recorded FZ's "Toads of the Short Forest" in 1971...

"I can't give you anything but love, baby. That's the only thing I've got plenty of, baby. Dream awhile, scheme awhile, you're sure to find hapiness, and I guess all these things you've always pined for. Gee, I'd like to see you looking swell, baby, diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby. Till that lucky day, you know darn well, baby, I can't give you anything but love."

"I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby" is also the title of an unrelated 1940 movie (based on the story "Trouble in B Flat" by James Edward Grant), directed by Albert S. Rogell, produced by Ken Goldsmith, with music from Charles Previn, starring Broderick Crawford and Peggy Moran.

Conceptual Continuity

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