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All My Tomorrows

Written: 1959

Music by: Jimmy Van Heusen

Words by: Sammy Cahn

Written for: A Hole in the Head

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On the Main Stage at Cafe Songbook

A Cafe Songbook Small Band / Big Band Double Feature

Rebecca Parris

with the Kenny Hadley Big Band at the Oceanside Jazz Fest,
Winthrop MA, 1998


"All My Tomorrows"

Rebecca Parris and the Kenny Hadley Big Band
recorded "All My Tomorrows" on their 1995 album
Beautiful Friendship.


More Performances of "All My Tomorrows"
in the Cafe Songbook Record/Video Cabinet
(Video credit)

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video before starting another.)

Barbara Fasano

with Eric Comstock (piano) and

Luke Sellick (bass)


"All My Tomorrows"

maybe during their show, "Rat Pack Poet - Celebrating Sammy Cahn on His 100th Birthday" at Stage 72 in NYC in June, 2013

Amazon iTunes


Cafe Songbook Reading Room

"All My Tomorrows"

Critics Corner || Lyrics Lounge

About the Movie A Hole in the Head / Origins of the Song

Other songs written for A Hole in the Head currently included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook: none.


For a complete listing of songs used in the this movie, see IMDB Soundtrack.

book cover: Sammy Cahn, "I Should Care"

Sammy Cahn.
I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story, New York: Arbor House, 1970.

Chris Ingham.
The Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra.
London & New York:
Rough Guides, 2005.

Jimmy Van Heusen "Swinging on a Star"
Christopher A. Coppula
Jimmy Van Heusen
Swinging on a Star

Nashville: Twin Creek Books, 2014

During the presidential campaign of 1959, Sinatra had become friendly with the Kennedys and he introduced Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen to them. Someone in the family asked the songwriters if they had a song that they could use for JFK's theme for the campaign. Cahn said, "We sure have a title." And writing in his autobiography explained he and Van Heusen had "just finished a song called "High Hopes" for the movie A Hole in the Head. Cahn rewrote the lyric for Kennedy and it became the theme for the campaign (Sammy Cahn, I Should Care, pp 187-88, hardcover Ed.) The song, with its original lyric, went on to win the Oscar for best song that year, but many have agreed since that it wasn't even the best song in the movie. In fact Chris Ingham writes, that although Sinatra's version of "High Hopes" in the film, sung to the young boy character (Sinatra's son in the film, played by Eddie Hodges, was "sweet," "the best thing about the movie, however, is Cahn and Van Heusen's theme song "All My Tomorrows" sung by Sinatra over the opening titles" (Ingham, p. 309).

In his biography of Van Heusen, Christopher Coppula suggests the irony that the popular success of "High Hopes" in a sense "crushed," in the short term, the "other song" in the film "All My Tomorrows." But over time the truth would eventually win out:

In A Hole in the Head it cannot be doubted that its companion song "All My Tomorrows" was superior to "High Hopes." It is a tender, lyrical ballad with cleverly optimistic lyrics by Cahn. In those lyrics Cahn effectively crystallized the message that Capra seemed to convey in all of his films. -- things might be bad today but they will get better [tomorrow], and I will be there with you (Coppula, p. 440).


Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges perform "High Hopes" in the 1959 movie A Hole in the Head.

Frank Sinatra sings the 1960 JFK campaign song using the original
Jimmy Van Heusen melody from the song "High Hopes"
with a new lyric by Sammy Cahn written at the request of the Kennedys

To hear a recording of the original Sinatra recording of "All My Tomorrows,"
recorded by Sinatra in 1958 with Nelson Riddle conductor and arranger, listen in the Cafe Songbook Record/Video Cabinet, this page or in The Lyrics Lounge below.

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Critics Corner
  (This section is currently in preparation.)
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Lyrics Lounge

Read the lyrics for "All My Tomorrows" as sung by Frank Sinatra on his original 1958 Capitol singles recording streamed on the video below from the 1958 album All the Way, on which it made its first album appearance:

The lyric as transcribed on the YouTube video above does not show the song structure. Our presentation of that structure below makes it easier to see the AABA format, where stanzas one, two and four are A sections and stanza three is the "B" section or bridge. Taken together they constitute the refrain sometimes known as the chorus. In fact Cahn typically used the term chorus to refer to the entire refrain. The entire lyric typically includes a verse and a refrain. For "All My Tomorrows," Cahn did not write a verse.

Our reformulation of the lyric may not be exactly the way Sammy Cahn originally wrote it out. Still, it's probably close. Virtually all lyricists of this period were very conscious of correct punctuation and poetic structure and Cahn was no exception. In our reformulation, we have used the rules of English punctuation as our guide. (Curiously, in the lyrics section of his autobiography, I Should Care, Cahn does not include "All My Tomorrows," so we currently have no authoritative source for exactly how he set things up.)

(Click the links in the paragraphs above to read definitions of terms in the Cafe Songbook Glossary.)

Today I may not have a thing at all
Except for just a dream or two
But I've got lots of things for tomorrow,
And all my tomorrows belong to you.

Right now it may not seem like spring at all.
We're drifting and the laughs are few,
But I've got rainbows planned for tomorrow,
And all my tomorrows belong to you.

No one knows better than I
That luck keeps passing me by -- That's fate.
But with you there at my side,
I'll be turning the tide -- Just wait.

As long as I've got arms that cling at all,
It's you that I'll be clinging to, and all the dreams I dream beg or borrow,
On some bright tomorrow, they'll all come true,
And all my bright tomorrows belong to you.

Sammy Cahn's excellence as a lyricist is demonstrated powerfully by how he can take a commonplace phrase that in a lesser writer's work would most likely seem tired and hackneyed and make it vital and evocative. Indeed his use of "at all," a phrase typical in everyday speech becomes poetic in his lyric for "All My Tomorrows." We first find it in a longer construction, "I may not have a thing at all," a slight variation on the oft used expression, " I don't have a thing at all" that many a creative writing teacher would mark up as vague and tired. But by the time we hear the emptiness of "today" contrasted to the fulsomeness of his imagined tomorrows, when he will have "lots of things" because all of his tomorrows "belong to you," we are buoyed up, even if falsely, by the image just as he is by the thought of a future with his love.

The "at all" conceit continues throughout the lyric acting as a unifying element to the ear when heard and the eye when read: Right now their life together isn't like "spring at all." They are "drifting and the laughs are few"; but not to worry, his dreams, "rainbows planned for tomorrow," which, unlike the luck that "keeps passing [him] by," will now come true. As long as he has "arms to cling at all" they will be clinging to her and all will be well. The foundation of his plan may be couched in a cliche typical of a romance novel, but Cahn's speaker's expression of it is certainly not. It is everyday language elegant in its simplicity used to wonderfully poetic effect. The couple may indeed be drifting onto the shoals of sentimentality, but Cahn's language never does. It is ennobling and saves the day -- if only for the sake of the song.



All My Tomorrows (sheet music cover)
original sheet music cover for "All My Tomorrows" (1959)
available at Amazon

Click here to read Cafe Songbook lyrics policy.

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The Cafe Songbook
Record/Video Cabinet:
Selected Recordings of

"All My Tomorrows"

(All Record/Video Cabinet entries below
include a music-video
of this page's featured song.
The year given is for when the studio
track was originally laid down
or when the live performance was given.)
Performer/Recording Index
(*indicates accompanying music-video)

1958 and 1969
Frank Sinatra
recordings: arrangement by
Nelson Riddle (1958);
arrangement by Don Costa (1969)





Amazon iTunes

Notes: Sinatra recorded "All My Tomorrows" twice, first on December 29, 1958 as a single for Capitol with Nelson Riddle as conductor and arranger. This track was subsequently included on the 1961 compilation album All the Way as well as on the The Complete Capitol Singles Collection.
Sinatra's second "All My Tomorrows" with a Don Costa arrangement was for the 1969 album My Way (recorded February 18-24 1969 and released in March).

The song was written for the 1959 movie A Hole in the Head produced and directed by Frank Capra. Although the title song for the movie won the Oscar there is no shortage of opinion that the best song was really

Several critics have seen fit to compare the two versions -- with the later Costa version perhaps winning but only by a head. Will Friedwald in his book Sinatra The Song Is You writes that Sinatra's later recording is "a full minute longer and ten years darker and deeper" than the classic 1958 original. Sinatra biographer James Kaplan concurs with Friedwald about the "darker and deeper" tones of the Costa recording but still thinks Frank sang the song "more beautifully" in 1958.
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Nancy Wilson
album: Yesterday's Love Songs
Today's Blues

Amazon iTunes

Notes: "Nancy Wilson has always been something of a paradox: a supper club singer with deep R&B roots and a student of Little Jimmy Scott and Dinah Washington with a Midas-like ability to transform their powerfully unorthodox phrasing into something upscale and chic. It took Little Jimmy himself till the postmodern '90s to get to the same place.

"YESTERDAY'S LOVE SONGS, TODAY'S BLUES is a key Nancy Wilson album in which she thoroughly examines her blues roots ('Sufferin' With the Blues,' 'Send Me Yesterday') and middle-class present with a keen, cool eye and magnificently buffed voice. Arranger Gerald Wilson is also able to inhabit both worlds as he and Wilson invest a tune like 'Satin Doll' with a pungency it rarely possesses in other hands, least of all Duke Ellington's. Likewise, the luxurious orchestral trappings the arranger drapes around Nancy Wilson's shoulders as she tackles material like 'The Very Thought Of You' and 'Never Let Me Go' allow this intense singer to tastefully wrench as much emotion as she can from these classic beauti
es." Quotation from CD Universe page for this album.

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Tony Bennett
album: If I Ruled the World:
Songs for the Jet Set

Amazon iTunes

Notes: "The opening track, 'Song Of The Jet,' is the English translation for 'Samba Do Aviao,' a lesser-known Jobim tune for which Bennett and arranger Don Costa pull out all the stops. Despite the album's title however, this varied set from '65 is less international in flavor than the previous I WANNA BE AROUND. Apart from the fine bossa nova 'How Insensitive' and the definitive English version of Michel Legrand's 'Watch What Happens,' there are key Tony Bennett performances such as the title song and 'Fly Me To The Moon.' Also included are little heard versions of the Peggy Lee penned ballad 'Then Was Then And Now Is Now' and Duke Ellington's swinging 'Love Song.' Another reissue in the Tony Bennett Master Series remastered to fine effect."

Personnel: Tony Bennett; Ralph Sharon (piano); Billy Exiner (drums); Carlos Lyra (guitar); Bobby Hackett (ukulele); Al Cohn (tenor saxophone); Joe Marsala (clarinet); Elcio Milito (drums); Will Bronson Singers.

Arranger: Don Costa.

Recorded at the CBS 30th Street Studios, New York, New York and at CBS Studio 2, Chicago, Illinois. Originally released as Columbia (2343).
All notes from CD Universe page for this album.

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Carol Kidd
album: All My Tomorrows


Notes: The first thing you need to know is the video above is the entire album All My Tomorrows, so you will have to listen for a while before you get to the song of the same title (or you can skip to the eleventh and final track to hear Kidd's version of "All My Tomorrows, the song). Either way you won't be disappointed. It's a great version and a great album. "All My Tomorrows by Carol Kidd remains one of Linn's [British Record label] all-time bestselling albums nearly thirty years after it was first recorded. Originally released in 1985 All My Tomorrows has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue. The impressive line-up features special guest Martin Taylor (guitar), plus Sandy Taylor (piano), Andy Morris (violin), Alex Moore (bass & acoustic guitars), Andrew Martin (violin), Murray Smith (drums), Ian Budd (viola) and Jeremy Fletcher (cello). From the beginning of Carol's impressive career, her albums were extremely well received and cemented her place in the jazz world as a respected recording artist, building on her already superb reputation in the jazz club and concert hall. With a triumphant career in jazz spanning half a century, Carol Kidd is widely recognized as Britain's finest ballads singer' (Jazz Review). She has been named Best Vocalist at the British Jazz Awards on four occasions and has been awarded the MBE for Services to Jazz. Carol has received accolades from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett . . . as well as being voted Best Performer at the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and Best Vocalist at the Cannes International Jazz Awards. To many of her fans, and critics alike, Carol is up there with the jazz greats. She has received favourable comparisons with Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday and has had continued praise from modern and traditional jazz performers." Quotation from CD Universe.
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Mark Murphy
album: What a Way to Go
(and Songbook)
(both albums include same track of
"All My Tomorrows"

Amazon iTunes

Notes: Although accompanied by a fairly anonymous-sounding electric rhythm section (which includes both John Cobert and Larry Fallon on synthesizers along with pianist Pat Rebillot and guitarist David Spinozza), singer Mark Murphy is in top form throughout the frequently inspired set, which was put out on CD. The adventurous singer, who never stops taking chances, is particularly inventive on "Ceora Lives" (based on Lee Morgan's "Ceora"), "All My Tomorrows" and "Clown In My Window." Murphy is virtually the entire show on this continually intriguing and recommended set. ~ Scott Yanow at CD Universe.
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Shirley Horn
album: You Won't Forget Me

Amazon iTunes

Notes: Shirley Horn focuses on romantic love songs on this third release for the Verve label. In addition to her powerful rhythm section (Charles Ables on bass, Steve Williams on drums) this release features guest appearances by some of jazz's luminaries: Miles Davis (long a champion of Horn's music), Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Toots Thielmans.

Interestingly, Horn rarely takes a solo, but repeats the songs over and over, slightly changing the phrasing and continuously building on the piano to change the emphasis. Every cut is a masterpiece, but the stand out is the title cut. Drummer Steve Williams sets up a strange, repetitive quarter note pattern which sounds like a ticking clock over which Miles Davis' muted trumpet floats and soars as Horn sings and plays piano. The track is especially poignant, as it was one of Davis' last appearances on record. The effect is nothing short of breathtaking. This album is a wonderful jazz treasure. from CD Universe page for this album.

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Harry Allen
album: Here's to Zoot


Notes: Personnel: Harry Allen (tenor saxophone); Dave McKenna (piano); Jake Hanna (drums).

Recorded Nola Studios, New York, NY (06/17/1997/06/18/1997).

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Michael Feinstein
album: The Sinatra Project [Vol. 1]
(medley of "All My Tomorrows"
and "All the Way")

Amazon iTunes

Notes: "Michael Feinstein has built a career out of interpreting standards and favorites from the American Songbook, so THE SINATRA PROJECT, an album of tunes made famous by Ol' Blue Eyes, comes as no surprise. Rather than trying to imitate Sinatra, Feinstein takes pains to arrange and deliver standbys like "Fools Rush In," "I've Got a Crush On You," and "You Go To My Head" in a style distinctive from the master. Romantic, sophisticated, and filled with nostalgia, Feinstein's THE SINATRA PROJECT is both a suitable tribute to the icon, and a lovely listening experience in its own right."

Personnel: Michael Feinstein (vocals, piano); China Forbes (vocals); Grant Geissman, John Chiodini (guitar); Jay Mason, Don Shelton (saxophone, wind); Wayne Bergeron (trumpet); Alan Broadbent, Thomas Lauderdale (piano); Dave Stone , Kirk Smith (bass instrument); Ray Brinker (drums).
from CDUniverse page for this album.
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Scott Hamilton and Rosanno Sportiello
album: Midnight at Nola's Penthouse


Notes: "Scott Hamilton emerged in the mid-'70s as a player who had a gift for creating a lush, swinging sound, regardless of the tempo or style. His partner on this 2010 studio session, Italian pianist Rossano Sportiello, is two decades younger, but the perfect partner. Their program includes a mix of standards and lesser-known songs, all played with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of beauty. "A Garden in the Rain" isn't the first ballad one would expect a jazz duo to choose, but the lush interpretation here could launch others into investigating its potential. Hamilton's boisterous playing is boosted by Sportiello's driving accompaniment, with the influence of the late Dave McKenna apparent. "Big Butter and Egg Man" is rarely played outside of traditional jazz/New Orleans jazz, but their brisk, lyrical interpretation should open some ears. They also sizzle with their driving rendition of "All God's Chillun' Got Rhythm," with plenty of fireworks as they trade the lead. This rewarding date deserves a follow-up meeting." ~ Ken Dryden at CD Universe
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Ed Reed
album: Born To Be Blue

Amazon iTunes

Notes: "Born to Be Blue is my third recording project. It grew out of a five-night gig I had in Bern, Switzerland in 2009 with an exceptional trio, Randy Porter (piano), Robb Fisher (bass), and Akira Tana (drums). The enjoyment we shared inspired the dream to make a recording and, when that became a reality, we invited Anton Schwartz (tenor sax) to join the project.

"I believe that everybody is born to be blue - and we need to acknowledge that. The tunes in this collection speak to so much of my own life experience. They help me to understand that the good stuff takes care of itself, but you need to pay attention to the sad stuff because if you don't acknowledge it and let it go, it will drag you through the mud. Singing these tunes teaches me to live in the moment and cherish the moment.

"In the few short years since I began to record, I have been honored that my music has been widely acclaimed by jazz reviewers and aired on radio stations across the country. My music and the story of addiction, multiple incarcerations, and recovery have been the subject of reviews and articles in Downbeat, Jazziz, Jazz Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, and Boston Globe. I was a guest on Marian McPartland's 'Piano Jazz' show in 2008, and was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article by Nat Hentoff in June 2009. In 2008, 2009, and 2011, the DownBeat Critics' Poll voted me a Male Vocalist Rising Star. I have performed at internationally renowned clubs in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Bern, Switzerland. In June 2011, I was honored as a Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association, and Born to Be Blue was a DownBeat Editors Pick in July 2011." from CD Universe page for this album.
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Houston Person
album: Nice N Easy


Notes: "In the 1990s, Houston Person kept the soulful thick-toned tenor tradition of Gene Ammons alive, particularly in his work with organists. After learning piano as a youth, Person switched to tenor. While stationed in Germany with the Army, he played in groups that also included Eddie Harris, Lanny Morgan, Leo Wright, and Cedar Walton. Person picked up valuable experience as a member of Johnny Hammond's group (1963-1966) and became a bandleader in the following years, often working with the late singer Etta Jones. A duo recording with Ran Blake was a nice change of pace, but most of Houston Person's playing has been done in blues-oriented organ groups. He recorded a consistently excellent series of albums for Muse, eventually switching to HighNote Records for 2006's You Taught My Heart to Sing, 2007's Thinking of You, and 2008's Just Between Friends, which featured bassist Ron Carter. Released in 2012, Naturally, recorded at the famed Van Gelder Recording Studio, teamed Person with Cedar Walton on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums.
This track is from his brand new album NICE 'N' EASY." --from YouTube video by THE - SMOOTHJAZZ - LOFT

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