Discover Songs

(Soundbite of song, "I Wanna Be Around")

Mr. TONY BENNETT (Singer): (Singing) I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart.


This summer, we've been asking the question: What is your favorite summer song? And today, we get an answer from the man with that legendary voice, Tony Bennett. He's introduced dozens of songs to the Great American Songbook, including this one, "I Wanna Be Around," also "The Best is Yet to Come" and "I Left my Heart in San Francisco."

Recently, Tony Bennett joined me from Manhattan to talk about his favorite song that makes him think of summer.

Mr. BENNETT: I did record a song called "It Was Me," which was my version of what I think the most beautiful summer song that was ever written. It's a beautiful love story about how people fall in - what happens when people fall in love, and it's usually in the summertime. If you happen to have that recording, I think you might enjoy it.

BLOCK: We do. Let's take a listen. This was from your album "I Wanna Be Around" released in 1963.

(Soundbite of song, "It Was Me")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) Who's the one you would find on the beach every day, lying there on the shore while his friends swim away, lying there in the sand only inches from you, watching you ever day till the summer was through? It was me.

BLOCK: This was a song originally written in French, right, "C'etait Moi"?

Mr. BENNETT: That's right. It's a gorgeous song because it's the signature version of what honestly happens when people fall in love for real, and it's unforgettable.

(Soundbite of song, "It Was Me")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) Who would help gather shells for the bracelet you made? Who would find you the cups for the pink lemonade? Who was always beside you whenever you'd swim, when you sat by the sea as the daylight grew dim? It was me.

BLOCK: It is beautiful. This…

Mr. BENNETT: Thank you.

BLOCK: This is a very young love, I think. You're talking about, you know, pink lemonade and stringing shells together to make bracelets.

Mr. BENNETT: Yes, because it happens to everybody, you know? It happens - it's the essence of what really happens when people really fall in love permanently.

(Soundbite of song, "It Was Me")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) And the warm skies are cold, and the soft winds are crisp.

BLOCK: Well, Tony Bennett, it's been a pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much.

Mr. BENNETT: Well, thank you very much.

(Soundbite of song, "It Was Me")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) Do you ever think back on the night?

BLOCK: That's singer Tony Bennett with the song "It Was Me." And you can hear all our stories of summer songs at the new

(Soundbite of song, "It Was Me")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) I know I never will. Who's the one next to you in the group photograph? Who's the one with the face too unhappy to laugh, standing there looking down so uncertain and shy, like a boy who's in love, so in love he could cry? It was me.

SIEGEL: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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