Sweetest Song Ever: "Tonight You Belong to Me"

Chris Higgins

The song "Tonight You Belong to Me" was written in 1926 by Billy Rose and Lee David. Gene Austin made the song a hit a year later, and it was brought back to prominence in the 1950's by various acts (Frankie Laine and The Lennon Sisters among them). At just over two minutes, it's short and sweet -- and surprisingly easy to sing. Most of us know it today because of a famous rendition from the movie The Jerk, which features Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters performing the song on a beach. (Peters rocks a mean cornet solo, too.)

"Tonight You Belong to Me" is a perennial cover, often performed to close concerts. For your viewing enjoyment this winter morning, I've dug up a few great covers of the tune. At the end of the post, I've linked to a video showing you how to play the song on ukelele. But first here's John Hodgman, Jonathan Coulton, and The Long Winters performing live in Portland on November 8, 2008:

Fiona Apple and Jon Brion (plus some members of Nickel Creek):

Eddie Vedder duets with Janet Weiss at Sleater Kinney's final performance in 2006:

Josh Ritter and Erin McKeown in 2004:

Trashcan Sinatras in 2003:

Lawrence Welk Show featuring The Lennon Sisters (1956):

The version from The Jerk with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters:

Got a uke handy? Learn the chords using this handy video.