When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, my parents loved Ella Fitzgerald’s music. It’s not that I didn’t love it, but she was into “scatting” at the time and I simply couldn’t understand it. All I knew was that she was a legend, and I stayed quiet when she came on television so my parents could hear her sing.

All these years later, I have suddenly discovered what an achingly beautiful voice she had. I was surfing Youtube and ran across the beautiful song you see here today. It’s called “Miss Otis Regrets (She’s Unable to Lunch Today)”.

Ella’s hypnotic voice is a stark contrast to the words in the song. You see, a polite society woman has just been hung by a mob for shooting her lover after he seduced and dumped her. Riveting stuff…even though Ella never raises her voice.

So here without further ado is that hauntingly beautiful tune.

Miss Otis Regrets (She’s Unable to Lunch Today)
written by Cole Porter
Sung by Ella Fitzgerald (accompanied by Buddy Bregman & His Orchestra).
Recorded February 7, 1956, Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA. (Verve Records)

Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today, madam,
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.
She is sorry to be delayed,
But last evening down in Lover’s Lane she strayed, madam,

Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.
When she woke up and found that her dream of love was gone, madam,
She ran to the man who had led her so far astray,
And from under her velvet gown,

She drew a gun and shot her love down, madam,
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.
When the mob came and got her and dragged her from the jail, madam,
They strung her upon the old willow across the way,

And the moment before she died,
She lifted up her lovely head and cried, madam…
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.

This video originally posted: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj1Zuld6aLM

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