Sophisticated Lady

Heaven and Earth:

A Duke Ellington Songbook


Duration: 4 minutes

Music by Duke Ellington
Words by Irving Mills and Mitchell Parish
Arranged by Henry Dehlinger

High Voice and Piano


Sophisticated Lady was written as an instrumental in 1932 with lyrics added in the mid-1940s by Mitchell Parish, a prolific lyricist who got his start in New York’s Tin Pan Alley in the 1920s. Ellington described the lyrics as “wonderful, but not entirely fitted to my original conception.” Parish’s words describe a woman who has lost love and chooses never to love again, hoping to shelter herself from further devastation. Originally, Ellington wrote the music thinking of three teachers at his grade school who saved dollars through the school year in order to tour Europe in the summers. Ellington quipped, “To me that spelled sophistication.” Henry Dehlinger’s arrangement delivers well, offering lush piano accompaniment and subtle swing phrases.


Famous Music Corp and EMI Mills Music, Inc.

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