A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
Anita O'Day Lyrics


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That certain night
The night we met
There was magic abroad in the air
There were angels dining at the Ritz
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

I may be right I may be wrong
But I'm perfectly willing to swear
That when you turned and smiled at me
A nightingale sang in Berkeley square

The moon that lingered over London town
Poor puzzled moon he wore a frown
How could he know we two were so in love
The whole damned world seemed upside down

The streets of town were paved with stars
It was such a romantic affair
And as we kissed and said goodnight
A nightingale sang in Berkeley square

How strange it was
How sweet and strange
There was never a dream to compare
To those hazy crazy nights we met
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

Ah this heart of mine
Loud and fast
Like a merry-go-round in a fair
We would dance cheek to cheek
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

The dawn came stealing up
All gold and blue
To interrupt our rendez-vous
I still remember how you smiled and said
Was that a dream or was it true?

Our homeward step was just as light
As the dancing feet of Astaire
And like an echo far away
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square





That night in Berkeley square.

Overall Meaning

In "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," Anita O'Day sings of a magical night where everything seemed to be touched by romance. The lyrics describe the night she met someone special, and how the whole world seemed to be turned upside down. The song opens with O'Day reminiscing about the meeting, describing the feeling of magic in the air. The song is full of beautiful imagery, such as "angels dining at the Ritz" and "the streets of town were paved with stars."


Despite the fanciful language, the song is rooted in a very real feeling of being swept away by love. The moon itself seems to be picking up on the lovers' feelings, as it watches over them with a frown, unable to understand how anyone could feel so in love. The night ended with the two of them realizing that they found something special, something that many people spend a lifetime looking for. The dreamy feeling of the night they met is further emphasized by the repeated mention of the nightingale singing, adding to the fantastical atmosphere.


Line by Line Meaning

That certain night
On that particular evening


The night we met
The night we encountered each other


There was magic abroad in the air
There was something special in the atmosphere


There were angels dining at the Ritz
There were influential or wealthy people present


And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
A beautiful bird sang in the public square


I may be right I may be wrong
I'm uncertain, but I'm ready to believe


But I'm perfectly willing to swear
I'm confident enough to make an oath


That when you turned and smiled at me
Your gesture made me feel special


A nightingale sang in Berkeley square
The moment felt truly magical


The moon that lingered over London town
The large round object in the sky visible in the city


Poor puzzled moon he wore a frown
The moon appeared confused and troubled


How could he know we two were so in love
The moon was unaware of our strong affection for each other


The whole damned world seemed upside down
Everything appeared disorienting and different


The streets of town were paved with stars
The city looked magical, with bright adornments


It was such a romantic affair
The situation was full of love and attraction


And as we kissed and said goodnight
When we locked lips and bid farewell


A nightingale sang in Berkeley square
The atmosphere was filled with enchantment


How strange it was
It was bizarre to think about


How sweet and strange
Pleasant yet peculiar


There was never a dream to compare
I never had such a wonderful dream


To those hazy crazy nights we met
To the surreal and chaotic nights we became acquainted


And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
It was a genuinely magical moment


Ah this heart of mine
My passionate heart


Loud and fast
Beating urgently


Like a merry-go-round in a fair
Like the spinning carousel of a carnival


We would dance cheek to cheek
We'd embrace and sway intimately


And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
The surroundings were still enchanted and beguiling


The dawn came stealing up
The sun began to rise, subtly


All gold and blue
The sky was an array of warm colors


To interrupt our rendez-vous
To disturb our romantic encounter


I still remember how you smiled and said
I can recall how you grinned and spoke


Was that a dream or was it true?
Is it possible that we really experienced that, or was it all in our heads?


Our homeward step was just as light
Our steps back home were equally carefree


As the dancing feet of Astaire
Just as easeful as the renowned dancer's graceful movements


And like an echo far away
Similar to a faint reflection from a distant place


And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
The memory of that charming night still lingers


And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
Again, the enchanting bird filled the air




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Eric Maschwitz, Manning Sherwin

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Susan

That certain night
The night we met
There was magic abroad in the air
There were angels dining at the Ritz
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

I may be right I may be wrong
But I'm perfectly willing to swear
That when you turned and smiled at me
A nightingale sang in Berkeley square

The moon that lingered over London town
Poor puzzled moon he wore a frown
How could he know we two were so in love
The whole damned world seemed upside down

5.The streets of town were paved with stars
It was such a romantic affair
And as we kissed and said goodnight
A nightingale sang in Berkeley square

1.How strange it was
How sweet and strange
There was never a dream to compare
To those hazy crazy nights we met
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

2.Ah this heart of mine
Loud and fast
Like a merry-go-round in a fair
We would dance cheek to cheek
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

3.The dawn came stealing up
All gold and blue
To interrupt our rendez-vous
I still remember how you smiled and said
Was that a dream or was it true?

4.Our homeward step was just as light
As the tap dancing feet of Astaire
And like an echo far away
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley square

I know where I was there
That night in Berkeley square.



All comments from YouTube:

Steven Wiggins

Am I alone? This is my favorite version of this song. Nobody sings it more delicately. The words are like feathers coming from Anita O'Day. She was a great jazz singer, not a valued skill any more. But she does this song right.

Shey Shannow

Gotta agree!

vraeyie maskiebaia

You're definitely not alone in this one my friend

Donald Olson

O'Day is my favorite singer of "Nightingale". I'm glad others agree. The intimacy and sweetness of her reading make the song come alive.
She recorded this again later in her career, and it's also wonderful.

Roni Jones

Anita's personal "story" is just as remarkable as her talent. I urge fans to find the documentary about her. She is as honest and beautiful as her voice. She kicked the beast of addictions (heroin and booze) with NO rehab. If you love her already? When u hear her laugh as she discusses her life, you will fall in love with her soul, and her music will inspire u in a deeper dimension. God bless her and all of you. VJ

INA

tears naturally...

steveknows62

I met her at a club in LA when she had written her autobio and was autographing copies. At that time, she was pretty much near the end. I told her that she was the greatest, but she tried singing one song and just didn't have it anymore.

Peter Shaw

The best version of this song ever. You have to listen to the hidden clever stuff. She was great!

Shey Shannow

Totally wonderful! I do NOT get tired of hearing this rendition. WOW that Lady! Just WOW!! Totally WOW!!!!!

chris Shepherd

A masterpiece.

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