YOU TO TO MY HEAD is one of my very favorite songs to perform from American Songbook Gold. The late 1930s tune was written by Fred Coots with lyrics by Haven Gillespie and has been covered by nearly every great songbook singer (and some not so great singers) from the 30s forward, including Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Diana Krall and many others.
Of course, beyond the fact that the poetry and elegant musical construction are so tempting, it’s simply a gorgeous love song to sing — and not an easy one if you respect the phrasing the composer and lyricist built into it. And while evoking a smoldering atmosphere of passion, longing, surrender and desire, the song never once uses or mentions the word “love.” It’s a completely metaphorical expression of the senses that includes one of my favorite lyrics ever written by anyone, “like a summer with a thousand julys.” Doesn’t that say it all?
Here is the superb American diva Sarah Vaughan giving her rendition of “You Go To My Head” supported by the musical panache of the Count Basie Orchestra: