Just in Time

  • The Song
  • Back Stories
composition date
1956
genre
Show
songwriter(s)
Betty Comden
Adolph Green
Jule Styne
related performer(s)
Frank Sinatra

A rolling title

Jule Styne: "I wrote the tune. I said [to Comden and Green], 'I’m just gonna write a top tune. Find a title to this, "da da da.”' You could call the tune anything. ‘da, da, da.” It sings by itself. For three months it was called ‘da da da.’ No title, they couldn’t write the song. So I said, ‘I’m gonna help you. I’m gonna see my friend Frank Loesser.’ This is done. Many lyric writers [have helped each other]—Leo Robin has helped Ira Gershwin—you need someone to talk to.

So, I went to Frank, I said, 'Frank, I’m writing with Comden and Green.' He said, ‘They don’t understand what a popular song is. What it consists of. It’s something that you remember melodically, not lyrically but melodically. You don’t remember the melody you ain’t remembering the song. They don’t understand that.’

So I played it for him. He said, 'It has to have a rolling title.' I played it over and over. I came back and he said, 'I have the title to the song, it goes, "Just in Time."' All he said was, 'Just in Time.' And they wrote a very good lyric to it. It’s a very good lyric. They’re very nice people. They’re very sophisticated people. They’re well learned and well read."

Cole Porter was my biggest fan

“Cole Porter was my biggest fan. Told me, [‘Just in Time’] ‘is the most beautiful, attractive, pleasant, feel good song. You know when you walk into a room at a party there’s a band and they quickly play one of your songs when you walk in? I have a going order with the bands in California and New York when I walk in a room play "Just in Time." It makes me feel good.’”

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