Lyrics of Leroy Anderson's music

Leroy Anderson - American composer and conductor of light concert music


All of Leroy Anderson's compositions were originally written as orchestral works. These works were first performed, recorded and published as instrumental pieces. Mitchell Parish was asked to write lyrics to seven of Leroy Anderson's compositions. They are listed here below.

The Syncopated Clock
Sleigh Ride
The Waltzing Cat
Blue Tango
Belle of the Ball
Forgotten Dreams

The Syncopated Clock

Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1945
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1950

There was a man like you and me, as simple as a man could ever be;
And he was happy as a king, except for one peculiar thing.
He had a clock that worked all right,
It worked all right, but not exactly quite;
Instead of going "tick, tock, tick", the crazy clock went "tock, tick, tock".
The poor old man just raved and raved, because nobody could say why his silly clock
behaved that hickory dickory way.
But now a famous man is he,
He owns a public curiosity;
From far and wide people flock to hear THE SYNCOPATED CLOCK.
Tick-a-tock, tick-a-tock,
There's a zing in the swing of that clock,
Tock-a-tick, tock-a-tick,
Don't you think it's marvelous trick?
Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling,
There's a zong in the bong of that ring,
Ling-a-ting, ling-a-ting,
Don't you think it's a wonderful thing?
The experts came to hear and see,
But none of them could solve the mystery,
They called Professor Einstein too,
He said "There's nothing I can do."
But soon the fickle human race will find another freak to take its place,
And one fine day the man will hock the poor old SYNCOPATED CLOCK.

Back to Top


Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1947
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1950

Lovely song of love, the music of a silver star, Won't you be my serenade that's softly played on my guitar.
Tonight, while all the world is still
Here I stand under her window sill;
Sing to my loved one, SERENATA, for me
Sing her your song, love's melody.
So near, yet we're so far apart,
Here I'll stand till I have won her heart;
Go to my loved one, SERENATA, and say: "When you're in love, love finds a way."
Love always finds a way
I'll win her heart someday.

Back to Top

Sleigh Ride

The story behind Sleigh Ride
Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1948
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1950

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ringting tingleing, too,
Come on, it's lovely weather for a SLEIGH RIDE together with you,
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoo Hoo,"
Come on, it's lovely weather for a SLEIGH RIDE together with you.
Giddy-yap, giddy-yap,giddy-yap, let's go,
Let's look at the show,
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.
Giddy-yap, giddy-yap, giddy-yap, it's grand,
Just holding your hand,
We're gliding along with a song of a wintery fairyland,
Our cheeks are nice and rosy, and comfy cozy are we,
We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be.
Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two,
Come on, it's lovely weather for a SLEIGH RIDE together with you.


There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray,
It'll be the perfect ending of a perfect day,
We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop,
At the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop.
Pop! Pop! Pop
There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy,
When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie,
It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives,
These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives!

Lyrics to Sleigh Ride were written in French ("Promenade en traîneau"), Spanish ("Paseo en trineo"), Dutch ("Slee rit"), Italian ("Corsa in slitta"), German ("Die Schlittenfahrt"), Estonian ("Saanisoit"), Norwegian ("Sledtur"), Icelandic, Finnish ("Rekiretki" 2 unique sets of Finnish lyrics) and Swedish (3 unique sets of Swedish lyrics).

Leroy Anderson Foundation: Audio Archives / International Recordings

Back to Top

The Waltzing Cat

Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1950
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1951

There once was a tomcat, a wonderful tomcat, who had all the usual faults,
But this cat was different, what made him so different was his inclination to waltz,
Each night this feline Sir
to his lady fair would purr:


I love to waltz (meow)
On a night like this with stars in the skies,
Come, let us waltz (meow)
While I look into your lovely green eyes.
I never knew what a little waltz could do,
Till the night I danced with you,
Lightly as a feather, let's pussy foot together,
I'd love to spend (meow) all my nine lives just waltzing with you.

Back to Top

Blue Tango

Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1951
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1952

Here am I with you
In a world of blue
And we're dancing to the tango we loved when first we met;
While the music plays, we recall the days
when our love was a tune that we couldn't soon forget
As I kiss your cheek, we don't have to speak
The violins, like a choir, express the desire we used to know not long ago
So just hold me tight in your arms tonight,
And this BLUE TANGO will be our thrilling memory of love.

Back to Top

Belle of the Ball

Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1951
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1953

Dancing so lightly and smiling so brightly,
tonight you're the BELLE OF THE BALL.
Is it a wonder the fellows are under
the spell of the BELLE OF THE BALL.
Is it a wonder fellows are/whole world is under
the spell of the BELLE OF THE BALL.
You are the girl of their dreams,
Everyone seems to adore you
And you can tell at a glance
There is romance waiting somewhere for you;
So have a gay time,
the music May time will end with the break of the dawn,
You and your laughter will linger long after
the sound of the music is gone,
We will remember the night
You were the fairest of all,
In our hearts you'll be dancing
Forever and ever the BELLE OF THE BALL.


Tonight there is music and dancing,
The dancers are happy and gay,
Tonight is a night for romancing
All the magical hours away,
And here in the crowd there is some one
With beauty as fresh as the dew,
And you are that beautiful someone,
For the moment you entered all glances were centered on you.

Back to Top

Forgotten Dreams

Leroy Anderson, composer
First performance in 1954
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish written in 1962

They keep returning, through years of yearning:
No matter how I try,
Forgotten dreams won't die.
You think it's over, forever,
And then a voice will sigh: "Forgotten dreams won't die"
Somewhere, in a crowded place,
Though she/ he isn't there you will see her/his face;
Somewhere, you will hear her/his name,
And suddenly you know that the thrill is still the same.
(You're still remembering the thrill.)
One day you loved her/ him, one day you lost her/ him,
And now you wonder why
Forgotten tears won't dry.
They keep returning, the flame still burning:
Though love has said goodbye,
Forgotten dreams won't die.

Back to Top

Also visit the official website of the Leroy Anderson Foundation established by his family.