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Jenny — A Love Story
Lyric by Carl Sigman

Sudden summer rain
That cools the pavement with a patent leather shine
A breath of sweetness all too quickly left behind
A moment’s richness in the mystery of time
So Jenny came . . .
Leaves of April green
that greet the morning as they hold their heads up high
So full of promise as they try to touch the sky
Too soon they flutter to the ground and have to die
So Jenny came . . .
So Jenny came — A very special girl
She shared with me her very special world
She brushed my life with all her love
Then suddenly was gone like summer showers
She fluttered down like leaves in autumn
I reach for her hand
but Jenny’s gone
How long should it last
Can love be measured by the hours in a day
And is it over when one lover slips away
Or does it really live forever as they say
But Jenny’s gone

The original, rejected lyric to “Love Story”
© MajorSongs

__In 1970, my father got the biggest assignment of his career, writing the lyric for Francis Lai’s “Theme From Love Story.” His initial effort (reproduced here) was rejected by Paramount as too sad (and also too sexually suggestive — they objected to the phrase “Jenny came”!). Initially furious, Dad refused to rewrite what he thought was just the right wedding of words to music, but cooler heads prevailed. He paced around our living room contemplating alternatives, but couldn’t get any ideas. Then he turned to my Mom and said, “where do I begin,” and the rest is history. (Inexplicably, Shirley Bassey’s version contains one line from the original lyric — “Sudden summer rain, That cools the pavement with a patent leather shine,” a line actually contributed by my mother!)
__Two years later, Paramount was preparing the all-time classic film The Godfather. After the worldwide success of “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story,” it wasn’t surprising that Dad got a call from Famous Music, Paramount’s publishing arm, to get started on a lyric to Nino Rota’s now-legendary theme. When he arrived at the lobby of the Gulf + Western Building for the initial meeting, however, the shakily-constructed skyscraper was literally swaying from the heavy winds and had to be evacuated. But something else was apparently in the wind that day, because Dad never heard back from Paramount again!
__As Dad used to say when the Yankees didn’t win the World Series, you can’t win ‘em all. But as this collection reveals, the few losses were far outweighed by a lifetime’s worth of winners. >

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