Words: Ned Washington; Music: Hoagy Carmichael (1938)


It’s not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no,
It’s just the nearness of you.

It isn’t your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no,
It’s just the nearness of you.

When you’re in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams come true.

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you’ll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight,
And to feel in the night the nearness of you.


Out of all of Carmichael’s hits, “The Nearness of You” is his most straightforward love song, with both the music and lyrics conveying an unguarded sentimental tone. Alec Wilder in American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950 calls it “simple and unclever,” “tender,” and “a forthright expression of the romantic world in which boys and girls once were wont to dream and dance and gaze and hold hands.”

(From JazzStandards.com)


Here is a video recording of Judy Garland from a live TV performance:

And here is a recording of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” – Frank Sinatra: