Squawk Radio

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Eloisa Hears "P.S., I LOVE YOU"


I was listening to NPR, and Billie Holiday was singing this song, which is obviously far older than the Beatles version:

What is there to write,
what is there to say?
Same things happen ev'ry day;

Not a thing to write,
not a thing to say,

So I take my pen in hand and
start the same old way.

Dear, I thought I'd drop a line,

The weather's
cool, the folks are fine;
I'm in bed each night at nine,
P.S. I LOVE YOU.

Yesterday we had some rain, But all in all,
I can't complain;
Was it dusty on the train?
P.S. I LOVE YOU.

Write to the Browns just as soon as you're able,
- they came a-round to call;-
I burned a hole in the dining room table,
And let me see, I guess that's all;
Nothing else for me to say,
And so I'll close,by the way,
Ev'ry-body's thinking of you.
P.S. I LOVE YOU.
LOVE YOU.

And I start wondering what the song was talking about. Why all the letters? Was it about writing to a soldier during the war? Obviously the couple is married.

Why does she write him every day? Where is he? Why is everyone thinking of him?

I googled the song (finding the lyrics, above). The lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer, and sung by Billie Holiday on the "Stormy Blues Verve" album. But I couldn't find an explanation!

There's no war in 1934. OK, Hitler is sharking around Europe, up to no good, but there's no soldiers to write to. It's the Great Depression-- could that explain it?

What do you all think this song is ABOUT? It's driving me crazy. What was happening in 1934 that everyone would be thinking about writing letters to a guy off on a train somewhere?
Eloisa James, 5:38 AM
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