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Cole Porter

"Night & Day" is acknowledged to be Cole Porter's greatest song by listeners, critics, scholars, and even Frank Sinatra, who called it "one of the best songs written in the world in the past 100 years you might say." Taken from the 1932 musical Gay Divorce, the song was first sung by Fred Astaire. The song immediately became a hit as performed by Eddy Duchin and His Central Park Casino Orchestra and it has remained a standard in the great American songbook ever since. It opens with a long verse with a slowly repeated note melody whose insistent boredom bores its way deep into the heart of the listener. As the melody leaps up an octave, it grows more passionate until it reaches the dominant of the refrain. The melody of the refrain is simple enough, a long-breathed tune that turns around the dominant, but the chord sequence beneath it moves from the flattened submediant major with a major seventh to the dominant and then down to the tonic. The bridge's melody arches and aches over the flattened mediant major dropping by chromatic steps down to the tonic major, balancing the flattened submediant of the refrain with the flattened mediant of the bridge. The climax of the song is the return to the refrain and its lingering cadence beneath the final ecstatic repetition of the title.