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Tracks Unwrapped

Comes Love


Romeo and Juliet


Comes Love
Comes a rainstorm, put your rubbers on your feet
Comes a snowstorm, you can get a little heat
Comes love, nothing can be done

Hey Love. You don’t know what love is, but it walks in, it hurts, you fall out of it, you can be sick with it. You can spend time making it then it don’t live here anymore. It is a many splendored thing or tainted. Love is for sale. It can be the groovy kind, the Sunday kind, you can be thru with it or it can be here to stay. It is only falling for make believe, so you’ll never fall in it again, then just around the corner, Comes Love.


Comes a fire, then you know just what to do
Blow a tire, you can buy another shoe
Comes love, nothing can be done


Comes Love has become a standard. It was written in 1939 by Sam H. Stept with great lyrics by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias and it has been recorded by countless singers and musicians since that time. Let's start with Billie Holiday’s recording from her 1957 Body And Soul album with Ben Webster (tenor sax), Barney Kessel (guitar), Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (trumpet), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Red Mitchell (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums):





Some years ago, possibly around the time Noah was putting animals on the ark, I remember an English lesson at school. [Apropos of Noah, do you know why the ark was made of gopher wood? And was Noah vegetarian?]. Anyway, in this English lesson we were given two poems to compare, one was a Shakespeare sonnet, I cannot recall the other. We were asked to say which really characterised love. I chose the Shakespeare sonnet and was put down by the others who said it was too ‘romantic’, the other poem was apparently the one that more realistically describe love. Ergo, Shakespeare didn’t know about love?

So we can either see love romantically or objectively, as in : 'Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts. Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.' (Wikipedia)

Comes Love is therefore part of a 'common theme in the creative arts'. I'll go with the word 'creative'.


Don't try hiding
'Cause there isn't any use
You'll start sliding
When your heart turns on the juice

Comes a headache, you can lose it in a day
Comes a toothache, see your dentist right away
Comes love, nothing can be done


Soon after it was written, Comes Love was recorded by Artie Shaw and his Orchestra with Helen Forrest providing the vocals:





This recording was apparently played in the background to the television series ‘The Sopranos’ in the episode where Uncle Junior shoots Tony Soprano (click here for the video clip from the episode). Johnny Best takes the trumpet solo and Georgie Auld the Red Rosesaxophone solo.

Love is a serious business. You won’t find many jokes about ‘Love’. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: ‘Love is one of those jokes you have to be there to get’.  Not like ‘Sex’, where there must be more jokes about it than there are about mothers-in-law, and which I know, dear reader, you would not wish us to repeat here.

Similarly, ‘Romance’ has its fair share of humour, often sugary sweet: like the boy who was about to leave, but before he did, he gave his girl a dozen roses. Eleven were real and one was artificial. He said to the girl: ‘Don’t cry, I will love you until the last one dies.’ Or things that we ‘do for love’: A guy and his girlfriend were walking down the street when she spotted a beautiful diamond ring in a jewellery store window. "Wow, I'd sure love to have that!" she said. "No problem, baby," he said, throwing a brick through the glass and grabbing the ring. A few streets later, his girlfriend was admiring a black leather jacket in another shop window. "What I'd give to own that!" she said. "Sure thing, darling," he said, throwing another brick through the window and snatching the coat. Finally, turning for home, they pass a Mercedes car dealership. "Boy, I'd do anything for one of those!" she says. "Damn, baby!" the guy cries. "Do you think I'm made of bricks?"


Comes a heatwave, you can hurry to the shore
Comes a summons, you can hide behind the door
Comes love, nothing can be done


Joni Mitchell sang Comes Love at a private party in 1998 featuring Brian Blade on drums, Larry Klein on Bass, Mark Isham on trumpet and Mark Leisz on additional guitars:





Does love start with parents and children? The old children’s rhyme says ‘First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage’. Nina Davenport made a documentary film, First Comes Love, about being a 41 year old single woman who desperately wants a child and decides to find a sperm donor with the help of a gay friend, Eric. 'Rotten Tomatoes' movie site says: ‘Nina is unflinching at exposing her inner and outer self as a case study. She's refreshingly frank and funny about the trials that women endure in order to get pregnant, give birth and manage the early years of parenting. After watching, you'll want to thank your mother.’



I recently heard about a friend’s five-year-old who asked her father if girls can marry girls as she loved her best friend, Chloe. Her father said they could. ‘Will we be able to have a baby?’ asked his daughter. ‘Well, you can,’ said her father, struggling, ‘but you would have to find a man to give you a seed.’ His daughter said: ‘Can you give me a seed, daddy?’ ‘No, I can’t,’ said her father. ‘But daddy, you are the only gardener I know ….’


Comes a heatwave, you can hurry to the shore
Comes a summons, you can hide behind the door
Comes love, nothing can be done

Comes the measles, you can quarantine a room
Comes a mousey, you can chase it with a broom
Comes love, nothing can be done


I like this version with Stacey Kent singing Comes Love from her album Love Is … The Tender Trap





.... and then compare it with this version of Comes Love from the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble – ‘an impressive grouping of seminal ska musicians who come together for the singular purpose of marrying Blue beat and Be-bop.’





That's all, brother
If you've ever been in love
That's all, brother
You know what I'm speaking of



We conclude with this very excellent video of Wynton Marsalis playing Comes Love with members of the Jazz At The Lincoln Centre Orchestra.





Comes a nightmare, you can always stay awake
Comes depression, you may get another break
Comes love, nothing can be done



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More Tracks Unwrapped:

Lover Man
I Found A New Baby
Just A Gigolo
Blackberry Winter


© Sandy Brown Jazz 2016