Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

I'll Be Seeing You (song)

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Published  1938
Lyricist(s)  Irving Kahal
Composer(s)  Sammy Fain

"I'll Be Seeing You" is a popular song, with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal. Published in 1938, it was inserted into the Broadway musical Right This Way, which closed after fifteen performances. In the musical it was performed by the singer Tamara Drasin, who had a few years earlier introduced "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". The song is a jazz standard, and has been covered by many musicians.


The musical theme has emotional power, and was much loved during World War II, when it became an anthem for those serving overseas (both British and American soldiers). The lyrics begin, in Bert Ambrose's and Vera Lynn's recorded versions, with a preamble:

As the song develops, the words take a jaunty commonplace of casual farewell and transform it by degrees, to climax with

The resemblance between the main tune's first four lines and a passage within the theme of the last movement of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (1896) was pointed out by Deryck Cooke in 1970.

Film and television performances

Featured throughout the 1944 movie also titled I'll Be Seeing You, starring Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten, the recording by Bing Crosby became a hit that year, reaching number one for the week of July 1. Later the song became notably associated with Liberace, as the theme music to his television show of the 1950s. In 1956, Jackie Gleason's character, Ralph Kramden, referenced the song in an episode of The Honeymooners in which Kramden experienced an early exit on the game show, The $99,000 Answer, and refused to leave the stage. The song was heard in an episode of the 1960s spy spoof Get Smart, when the main character had a high-tech trumpet that could play any tune, just by speaking the title into the mouthpiece. The song was aptly used in the 1979 film Yanks, starring Richard Gere, a World War II story set in England in 1943-44. In a 1987 episode of Designing Women, appropriately titled 'I'll Be Seeing You', Jean Smart's character Charlene dreams that the cast is back in the World War II era; Charlene performs the song herself and the Bing Crosby version is also featured.

It was also played in the 1989 Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors; in the end credits of the 1990 film Misery (Liberace's rendition); in the 1992 movie Shining Through; in two episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat, in the 2004 film The Aviator, and in the 2004 film The Notebook as the song for Noah and Allie. It was featured and performed by Anne Shelton in "Dance with the Dead", a 2006 episode of Midsomer Murders, which was set near an old World War II airfield. It was also played in the closing credits for the final (until 2011) episode of Beavis and Butt-head; in the 2010 season 4 episodes of Eureka ("Founder's Day" "A New World" and "I'll Be Seeing You"). On the final episode of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson which was aired on May 22, 1992, Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra closed the show with it, as it was one of Carson's favorite songs.

During the 2009 Academy Awards presentation, Queen Latifah sang the song during the "In Memoriam" tribute to members of the motion picture industry who had died during the previous year, which was unusual because the In Memoriam tribute was previously traditionally unaccompanied.

On October 26, 2014, the song was played as part of a video tribute to Robin Williams at AT&T Park, before Game 5 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals.

On her 2016 album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, Barbra Streisand performs "I'll Be Seeing You" (combined with "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" from the 1954 Lerner & Loewe musical My Fair Lady), as a duet with actor Chris Pine.


The song has been recorded by many artists:

  • Al Hirt released a version on his 1965 album They're Playing Our Song
  • Andrea Corr performed "I'll Be Seeing You" on her 2011 album Lifelines
  • Anne Murray recorded a version for her Greatest Hits compilation All of Me
  • Anne Shelton performed "I'll Be Seeing You" in Midsomer Murders
  • Barbra Streisand performs "I'll Be Seeing You" (combined with I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face from the 1954 Lerner & Loewe musical My Fair Lady), as a duet with actor Chris Pine on her 2016 album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway.
  • Barry Manilow on his 1991 studio album Showstoppers
  • Billie Holiday sang a rendition of the song (1944)
  • Bill Kenny on his 1966 album Remember Me
  • Bing Crosby recorded it in 1944
  • Brad Mehldau on his live album The Art of the Trio, Vol. 4 (Back at the Vanguard)
  • Brenda Lee on her 1962 album Sincerely, Brenda Lee
  • Carmen McRae on her album When You're Away (1958)
  • Cass Elliot on her live album Don't Call Me Mama Anymore
  • Connee Boswell, Studio & Radio Broadcast Recordings, 1931 - 1946
  • Dean Martin on his 1965 album Dean Martin Hits Again
  • Engelbert Humperdinck on his 1985 album A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
  • Eric Clapton recorded it on his 2016 CD I Still Do
  • Etta James on her 1994 cover album Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday
  • The Five Satins recorded the song in 1959
  • The Four Freshmen recorded the song in 1952 and again in 1953
  • Françoise Hardy and Iggy Pop on the 1998 album Jazz a Saint-Germain
  • Frank Sinatra recorded multiple versions of the song, initially with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (1940), including one version that was more upbeat and "swinging" than later slower versions of the song
  • Harry James on his album For Listening And Dancing (Reader's Digest RD4A 213, 1981)
  • Holly Cole on her album Blame It on My Youth
  • The Hollywood Flames released a version of the song as a single in 1959
  • James Booker recorded the song
  • James Darren, twice on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the character Vic Fontaine, later on also on his album This One's from the Heart
  • Jane Morgan recorded it on her album An American Songbird in Paris
  • Jimmy Durante; a recording from his 1960s TV show was used in the motion picture The Notebook
  • Jo Stafford recorded the song on her 1958 album G.I. Jo – Songs of World War II with arrangements by Paul Weston (her husband) as the band leader
  • Judy Collins on her 1975 album Judith
  • Julian Lage on his 2016 album ARCLIGHT
  • June Tabor on her CD A Quiet Eye (2000)
  • Linda Ronstadt on her CD Hummin' To Myself (2004)
  • Liza Minnelli on her 2002 live album Liza's Back
  • Louis Prima recorded two versions, first in 1944 with Lily Ann Carol, another in 1960 with Keely Smith
  • Mario Lanza recorded the song
  • Mel Tormé recorded several studio versions of the song as well as a live performance with pianist George Shearing on the Concord Records album An Elegant Evening
  • Michael Bublé recorded it on his EP First Dance
  • Mina recorded and released the song on her 2012 album 12 (American Song Book)
  • Neil Sedaka recorded a version in 1964 but it was not released until 2005, when it was issued on his Love Songs album
  • Peggy Lee recorded it on her 1972 album Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota
  • The Poni-Tails sang the song in 1959 when it reached as high as #87 in the U.S.
  • Queen Latifah sang the song during the "In Memoriam" tribute during the 81st Academy Awards
  • Ray Charles recorded it in 1967 on his album Invites You to Listen
  • Ray Conniff recorded it in 1959 with his orchestra and singers in a very upbeat and swinging version on his album Young At Heart
  • Regina Carter recorded it in 2006 on her album I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey
  • Rickie Lee Jones on her 1991 album Pop Pop
  • Rod Stewart on his 2002 album It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook
  • Roseanna Vitro performed it as a Bossa Nova on her 2004 album Tropical Postcards.
  • Rosemary Clooney recorded it in the early 1990s in her homage to the "War Years" on an album entitled For the Duration
  • Sarah Vaughan on her 1960 album Dreamy and her 1963 live album Sassy Swings the Tivoli
  • The Skyliners and The Belmonts recorded the song
  • Sonny Rollins in his 1982 concert in Montreal
  • Steve Tyrell recorded the song on his 1999 album A New Standard* The Blanks recorded an a cappella version on their 2004 album Riding the Wave
  • Tony Bennett included the song as the final track on his 1992 album Perfectly Frank
  • Vera Lynn recorded the song
  • The Vocal Majority recorded the song on I'll Be Seeing You in 1990
  • Willie Nelson recorded the song on Healing Hands of Time
  • Vov Dylan (Violin) and Glenn Amer Piano recorded this song as the closing number of their album "Timeless"
  • References

    I'll Be Seeing You (song) Wikipedia