While daisies nod hello


It’s so restful in the country
It’s the right kind of diet
You really ought to try it

You lie and dream
Beside a stream
While daisies nod “Hello”

After adding several more recordings to the new page on the Alec Wilder song “It’s So Peaceful in the Country,” it became too large. So I split it up into two parts:


Recordings included:

part 1, 1941-1960

  • Mildred Bailey and the Delta Rhythm Boys – recorded on 24 June 1941; issued on the 78 rpm single Decca 3953, b/w “Lover, Come Back to Me!” (m. Sigmund Romberg, w. Oscar Hammerstein II), B-side recorded by Mildred Bailey — The chorus precedes the verse in this version.*


  • Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra, vocal: Garry Stephens – recorded on 27 June 1941, and issued on the 78 rpm single OKeh 6291, c/w “What Word is Sweeter than Sweetheart”
  • Harry James and his Orchestra, vocal: Dick Haymes — recorded on 30 June 1941; issued on Columbia 36246, as the B-side of “Yes Indeed!” (Oliver)
  • Barbary Coast Orchestra, of Dartmouth College — label dated 7 December 1942
  • Percy Faith and Mitch Miller — title track from the 1956 album Columbia Records CL 779
  • Mundell Lowe — recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ on 20 February 1956; released on the 1956 LP Guitar Moods, Riverside Records RLP 12-208 (Mono)
  • Patti Page — from The Patti Page Show, possibly Episode 1.2, broadcast on 23 June 1956
  • June Christy – from her 1957 album Gone for the Day, Capitol T902 — with orchestra arranged and conducted by Pete Rugolo
  • Dick Johnson Quartet — recorded in NYC on 30 October 1957; released on the 1957 album Most Likely…, Riverside Records RLP 12-253
  • The Creed Taylor Orchestra — from the 1958 album Shock Music in Hi-Fi, ABC Paramount Records ABC-259 (Mono), ABCS-259 (Stereo)
  • Tony Bennett with Ralph Sharon and his Orchestra — issued on 16 February 1959 on the 45 rpm single Columbia Records 4-41341, b/w “Being True to One Another”
  • Nelson Riddle — originally released on the 1959 album The Joy of Living, (US) Capitol Records T 1148 (Mono), ST 1148 (Stereo)
  • Joe Wilder — originally released on the 1959 album The Pretty Sound, (US) Columbia CL 1372 (Mono), CS 8173 (Stereo)
  • The Frank Wess Quartet — recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on 9 May 1960; released on the 1960 self-titled album (US) Moodsville MVLP 8

  • Tak Shindo — from the 1960 album Accent on Bamboo, (US) Capitol Records T-1433 (Mono), ST-1433 (Stereo)


City living is a pretty living
It’s so full of unexpected thrills
But there’s too much stone
Too much telephone
There’s too much of everything but trees and hills


part 2, recordings after 1960


  • Charlie Byrd — from the 1966 album Byrdland, Columbia Records CL 2592 (Mono), CS 9392 (Stereo)
  • Bobby Hackett with Vic Dickenson — from the 1970 album Live at the Roosevelt Grill, Chiaroscuro CR 105; album tracks recorded at the Roosevelt Grill in New York City, April-May 1970
  • Marian McPartland — originally released on her 1974 album Plays the Music of Alec Wilder, Halcyon Records HAL 109; album recorded on 20 & 21 June 1973 at Columbia Studios in NYC
  • Jackie Cain & Roy Kral — recorded live in September 1976 at Howard Rumsey’s Concerts by the Sea in Redondo Beach, California; released in 2007 on the album Echoes — album personnel: Jackie Cain – vocals, Roy Kral – piano, vocals, Brian Atkinson: vibes, John Mosher – bass, Gary Nash – drums
  • Roland Hanna — from the 1980 LP Plays the Music of Alec Wilder, Inner City Records IC 1072
  • Meredith D’Ambrosio – from her 1981 album Another Time, (US) Shiah Records SR-109, (France) Sunnyside Records SSC 1017 — full digital album: sunnyside.com
  • Joe Derise — from the 1981 LP House of Flowers, Audiophile AP-153
  • Eileen Farrell — from the 1990 album Sings Alec Wilder, Reference Recordings RR-36
  • Jackie Cain & Roy Kral — released on the 1990 LP An Alec Wilder Collection, Audiophile Records ACD-257; album recorded 17-19 July 1990, according to AllMusic.com
  • Rosemary Clooney — originally released on the 1996 CD album Dedicated to Nelson, Concord Jazz CCD-4685; album recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA, 27-30 September 1995
  • Bill Charlap Trio — from the 1997 CD album All Through the Night, on Criss Cross Jazz Records — Bill Charlap – piano, Peter Washington – bass, Kenny Washington – drums


  • John Sheridan’s Dream Band, featuring Rebecca Kilgore — from the 2005 album Easy as It Gets, Arbors Records 19309; album recorded at Nola Studios, New York, NY, 24-25 January 2005


sources and other helpful links:


* In Mildred Bailey’s recording, the verse is placed after the four sections of the AABA chorus. Then, following the verse section, she repeats the fourth or final section of the chorus. If the lyric provided by the authors of Reading Lyrics, on p. 394 accurately represents what Alec Wilder wrote, then he wrote different lines to be sung by a “he” or a “she” vocalist, as the case may be, in the second half of each of the first two of the four sections of the chorus. Bailey sings the “she” part in the first section, but substitutes the “he” part in the second section. And who can blame her for opting not to sing the lines Wilder evidently expected a female to voice:

You read a book
Or try to cook
Like any good man’s wife

In Wilder’s world, that’s evidently what a lady did when she was relaxing in the country, as meanwhile her man was off in a meadow taking relaxation to another level:

You lie and dream
Beside a stream
While daisies nod “Hello”

Perhaps, to the songwriter’s way of thinking, it hadn’t seemed prudent to allow that a “she” might become quite so idle and carefree in the country. In any event, Bailey chose to sing the “he” option in the second section of the chorus, but the third line is sung as “Where daisies nod hello,” instead of “While daisies nod hello.” In the 1941 Charlie Spivak and Harry James recordings, respectively, the vocalist in each case sings the original “While daisies…”

Some of the more recent recordings featuring a female vocalist have (dutifully?) retained the “good man’s wife” lines.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

web stats

%d bloggers like this: