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Irving Berlin

From Mona to Always

Berlin’s musical secretary, Arthur Johnston (who would later become a successful songwriter in his own right), had a girlfriend named Mona. She asked Berlin to write a song for her and Berlin obliged with a song titled, “I’ll Be Loving You, Mona.” Years later, in 1925, Berlin amended the song for the Marx Brothers stage vehicle The Cocoanuts, substituting the word “always” for “Mona.” The rest of the lyrics were inspired by Berlin’s love for Ellin Mackay, soon to be his wife.

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