Only the Lonely
Jimmy Van Heusen
Sammy Cahn
September, 1958
September, 1958

"Only the Lonely" is a song featured in Frank Sinatra's 1958 album Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely.

History[edit | edit source]

"Only the Lonely" is the title track of Frank Sinatra's album of the same name. The song's composers, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, were asked to write a song for the new project, and this song became the final outcome of their work. On the song, Van Heuson wrote in the liner notes for Only the Lonely: "The lyric came very hard. Session without session without the glimmer of a line. Sammy is as facile a man with words as there is in our business, and I thought changing the melody here and there might be helpful. He wouldn't permit me to change a note."[1]

In the originally published sheet music, Cahn's lyric contained the phrase "Some very small cafe," and this lyric is sometimes sung by other recording artists (for example, by Shirley Horn in her 1963 recording). Sinatra, however, chose to sing the somewhat redundant "some little small cafe", and this alteration has been used by many subsequent singers (including Aretha Franklin and Diana Krall).

Releases[edit | edit source]

Studio recordings

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Each place I go only the lonely go
Some little small café
The songs I know only the lonely know

Each melody recalls a love that used to be
The dreams I dream only the lonely dream
Of lips as warm as May

That hopeless scheme only the lonely scheme
That soon somewhere you'll find the one that used to care
And you recall each fun time

Those picnics at the beach when love was new
It well could be the one time
A hopeless little dream like that comes true

If you find love hang on to each caress
And never let love go
For when it's gone you'll know the loneliness
The heartbreak only the lonely know

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely original liner notes by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.