"Dreaming of Tomorrow" featured image. Detail from postcard.

“Dreaming of Tomorrow” (1929)

“Dreaming of Tomorrow.” Words and music by Eddie Pola and Phil Cardew. Recorded by Elsie Carlisle under the musical direction of Jay Wilbur in London c. February 1929. Dominion A. 83.

Personnel: Jay Wilbur dir. Max Goldberg-Bill Shakespeare-t / Tony Thorpe-tb / Laurie Payne-Jimmy Gordon-George Clarkson-reeds / Norman Cole-vn / Billy Thorburn-p / Dave Thomas or Bert Thomas-bj-g / Harry Evans-bb-sb / Jack Kosky-d-x

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Elsie Carlisle – “Dreaming of Tomorrow”

Transfer by Mick Johnson (YouTube)

The “Dreaming of Tomorrow” that Elsie Carlisle recorded c. February 1929 is sometimes incorrectly identified as the 1925 composition of the same name by Benny Davis and Joe Sanders (of the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra, who recorded the earlier song). Elsie’s song was actually composed in 1928 by Eddie Pola and Phil Cardew (the latter a prolific arranger for the BBC Dance Orchestra, amongst other things). It is a song that starts out melancholy but eventually becomes rather upbeat. The title and, for that matter, the lyrics, are apt to be misinterpreted as some form of optimism for the future (so common a theme in the songs of the decade to come), when really they express an intense happiness and satisfaction with the present. The singer contrasts her past infelicity with the bliss that she has found in a new relationship:

It seems to me my dreams
Will all materialize,
Since I got a glimpse
Of the love in your eyes.
Dreaming of tomorrow,
Why should I be blue?
When I know tomorrow’s
Gonna give me you?

The song is a suitable vehicle for Elsie’s technique of vocally representing a character in very little time and in few words, and she she expresses her sweet sentiments in an appropriately dreamy way.

“Dreaming of Tomorrow” had been recorded before in November 1928 by Bert and John Firman’s Arcadians Dance Orchestra, with Maurice Elwin as the vocalist. It was also recorded by Philip Lewis and His Dance Orchestra (a.k.a. the Rhythm Maniacs), under the direction of Arthur Lally, in November 1929, again with Maurice Elwin, but that take was rejected by Decca.

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"The Idol of the Radio." British dance band singer of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

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