What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

Album: Dusty In London (1972)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a haunting, bluesy song which states the hope that the rest of this person's life will be spent with the singer.
  • This song made a comeback when it was featured in commercials for the Journey Diamond collection, reinforcing the message "diamonds are forever." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA, for above 2
  • Married lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who wrote the themes to In The Heat Of The Night, The Way We Were, and The Thomas Crown Affair, wrote this with composer Michel Legrand for the 1969 movie The Happy Ending. Jean Simmons and John Forsythe star as a middle-class couple who seem to have it all, but their marriage is falling apart.

    "To all intents and purposes in the early part of the film, they seem like a couple to be envied," Marilyn said at the ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo in 2007. "Nobody outside of the two of them, not even their daughter, realizes the stress and strain of their marriage. The picture opens with a flashback to when they were young. The director/writer, Richard Brooks, who was writing the picture for his wife Jean Simmons, said, 'I want you to write a song that when you hear it for the first time it is like a proposal of marriage.'"

    Alan explained how the song's meaning changes throughout the film: "The second time you hear the song, sixteen years later in the film, the wife has picked up and walked out of her life, leaving her husband and her daughter. Not even knowing where she's going. The director said, 'I want the song to be heard again, but you cannot change a word or note. But this time when she goes into a bar and selects this song off the jukebox, I want it to mean something entirely different.'"
  • The song (performed by Michael Dees for the film) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • In 1972, Sarah Vaughan recorded this for her album, Sarah Vaughan with Michel Legrand, which featured songs by Legrand and the Bergmans. Legrand won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for Vaughan's rendition of the song. In 2006, Billy Childs, Gil Goldstein, and Heitor Pereira won in the same category for a version featuring Chris Botti and Sting.
  • This has also been covered by Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, Julie Andrews, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, and Shirley Bassey.

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