As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld) has become well-known owing to it being a centerpiece and leitmotif of the 1942 film Casablanca, one of the most popular in film history. Hupfeld wrote the song for the 1931 Broadway musical Everybody’s Welcome in which it was sung by Frances Williams. Several other covers were recorded that year including one by Rudy Vallée.

The song was re-introduced in 1942 in the film Casablanca, sung by Dooley Wilson accompanied by pianist Elliot Carpenter and heard throughout the film as a leitmotif. Wilson was unable to record a single of the song at the time due to a musicians’ strike, leading the studio to re-issue Vallée’s 1931 recording and giving Vallée a number one hit in 1942. – adapted from Wikipedia

An excerpt from the Song of the Week feature:

The song “As Time Goes By” and the film Casablanca are inextricably intertwined; it is nearly impossible to think of one without the other. That wasn’t always so. “As Time Goes By” was written in 1931, eleven years before Casablanca debuted. That year the song appeared in a modestly successful Broadway play, Everybody’s Welcome, and crooner Rudy Vallee’s recording reached fifteenth place on the pop charts. After that, the song was virtually forgotten and its composer, Herman Hupfeld, moved on to other musicals. In the 1930s he was better known for his novelty song, “When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba.”

“As Time Goes By” wasn’t forgotten by Murray Burnett, a student at Cornell University in 1931 and future playwright-to-be, who purchased the Vallee recording and wore it out. In 1938, while vacationing on the French Rivera, he heard “As Time Goes By” played by a black pianist at a nightclub that was frequented by the French, Nazis and refugees, La Belle Aurora. Struck by the juxtaposition of the nightclub scene with the atmosphere of pre-war Europe, after returning home he co-wrote with Joan Alison a play entitled Everybody Comes to Rick’s. In the play, Rick Blaine, the hard-bitten and cynical bar owner of a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco, helps an idealistic Czech resistance fighter, Victor Lazlo, escape from the Nazis with the woman Rick loves, Ilsa Lund.


Rudy Vallée and his Connecticut Yankees


The Columbians, featuring vocals by Smith Ballew



Binnie Hale



Dooley Wilson as the character Sam in Casablanca



Billie Holiday – recorded 1 April 1944 in New York with Eddie Heywood and his Orchestra —  Doc Cheatham (tp) Lem Davis (as) Vic Dickenson (tb) Eddie Heywood (p) John Simmons (b) Sid Catlett (d) Billie Holiday (v)


Frank Sinatra – recorded 12 September 1961, arr. Axel Stordahl



Barbra Streisand – from The Third Album


David Matthews and Friends — A group of musicians from the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra featuring Ryan Kisor on Trumpet

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tom Bowler
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 15:50:37

    I saw this while reading an excerpt from Knocking On Heaven’s Door”, a Book on todays Physics.

    And to my very pleasant surprise I came upon your wonderful Songbook site. I lost it when I changed my email address a couple of months ago.

    Please renew my subscription:



    Thanks for the memories,

    Tom Bowler

    Prelude to “As Time Goes By”

    This day and age we’re living in
    Gives cause for apprehension
    With speed and new invention
    And things like fourth dimension.
    Yet we get a trifle weary
    With Mr. Einstein’s theory.
    So we must get down to earth at times
    Relax relieve the tension

    And no matter what the progress
    Or what may yet be proved
    The simple facts of life are such
    They cannot be removed…

    As Time Goes By Lyrics
    (Words and Music by Herman Hupfeld)

    You must remember this
    A kiss is just a kiss,
    a sigh is just a sigh.
    The fundamental things apply
    As time goes by.

    And when two lovers woo
    They still say, “I love you.”
    On that you can rely
    No matter what the future brings
    As time goes by.

    Moonlight and love songs
    Never out of date.
    Hearts full of passion
    Jealousy and hate.
    Woman needs man
    And man must have his mate
    That no one can deny.

    It’s still the same old story
    A fight for love and glory
    A case of do or die.
    The world will always welcome lovers
    As time goes by.

    Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
    As time goes by.

    Liked by 1 person


    • doc
      Sep 29, 2011 @ 16:59:54

      Tom, Welcome back, stranger. Here’s the deal with subscriptions. WordPress doesn’t allow the administrator of a site to do anything with subscriptions. Therefore, even as the lone administrator of the site I’m not allowed to edit, delete, or even look funny at a subscription. Here’s a pertinent response on the matter in a WordPress forum:

      That isn’t something that you can change. If he has a account and subscribed when he was signed-in to his account, then he will need to change his email address in his profile at . We have instructions available at If they don’t have a account, they will need to unsubscribe and resubscribe to your blog using their new email address.

      As an email subscriber you can ignore the info about WordPress accounts. The last instruction is the only one which applies to you. Unsubscribe and resubscribe. They don’t allow me to do it. — Jim

      P.S. Thanks for the lyrics, with the (original?) verse introduction.



  2. Tom Bowler
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 13:09:43

    I think they are original. They were in the 1932 Play “Everybody’s Welcome” where the song was, I believe, first used.

    Liked by 1 person


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