Song 70 – Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

SONG: Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

ARTIST: Ella Fitzgerald

YEAR: 1956

Listen to it here: 


Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye was written by Cole Porter for the 1944 musical revue “Seven Lively Arts”.  The song became a jazz standard and has enjoyed many cover versions up to this day.


To learn about Ella Fitzgerald, check out our review of Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)!


Cole Porter had a horse riding accident in 1937 where his legs were crushed.  This led to 30 surgeries and his legs eventually being amputated.


So the first time I ever heard this song was on the Simpsons (the good years) with Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer) closing his show with it (can we talk about how great a voice Kelsey Grammer has?  Too bad about those dubious political leanings).  As a kid I didn’t really realize it was an actual real song, and an American Songbook classic nonetheless.  I wish we had been able to listen to some of Ella‘s more bebop or scat type stuff because although I really like Cole Porter and I do think she sounds good here this isn’t the best representation of what Ella can do in my opinion. I think it is better than our previous Ella/Cole collaboration. That orchestra though is more than Ella needs. I think she’s better suited to having something minimal and unadorned where her voice can just be it’s beautiful buoyant self and just float on the music, but I feel like it’s weird down here by the huge saccharine orchestra. The song itself is fine. I don’t love Cole Porter’s more sentimental stuff as much as I love his sweet little simple snaps of life. This is better than our last Ella/Cole collaboration as I said before, but I still don’t love it. Too bad.


Now THIS is a song I’ve listened to 100,000 times! It’s a great Cole Porter classic, but like the last Cole Porter song on our list, it’s nothing complicated. The melody is simple, the words- well there’s not much there, but I just like this song better. The orchestration, however, is about a syrupy sweet as you can get. I mean, a flute and oboe duet with harp in the background? I feel like a singer with a less powerful voice may have gotten swallowed up by this Disney-like treatment, but Ella holds her own. There’s something about the tempo and feel of this ballad that sits incredibly well with her voice and her vibrato. Again, you can hear tons of upbeat numbers where Ella can totally blow your mind with a scat solo, but this is a great example of how Ella can just very subtly tug away at your heart-strings. My favourite thing is how she digs in a little to all the minor chords. Despite the orchestration, I still love this song!

Average mark out of 10:

Holly: 8/10

Kelly: 7/10

Other notable versions of this song:

Sideshow Bob:

Ray Charles crooning through:

Listen with us!

Link to 1,001 Songs to Hear Before You Die spotify playlist:

Published by Kelly

What I like: Music, travel, coffee, beer, makeup and photography! My gear: Canon EOS 60D and 18-200mm lens. Where call home: Vancouver, BC, Canada Photography Experience: Very amateurish.

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