Which songs or musical standards have haunted you?

For my entire life I've been hearing certain songs and musical tunes. These same songs and melodies have been done by countless artists. Today I decided to search the origination of this music.

"Tenderly" has probably been the most consistent tune in my life. I recall it from my high school prom.

"Tenderly" is a popular song published in 1946 with music by Walter Gross and lyrics by Jack Lawrence. Copyright 1946 by Edwin H. Morris & Company, Inc. Originally written in the key of Eb as a waltz in 3/4 time, it has since been performed in 4/4 and has subsequently become a popular jazz standard.

Early recordings were by Sarah Vaughan, who recorded the song in 1946 and had a US pop hit with it in 1947;[1] and the Brazilian crooner and pianist Dick Farney (Farnésio Dutra e Silva) who recorded the song in 1947.[citation needed] Since then, "Tenderly" has been recorded by many artists, but perhaps the best-known version was by Rosemary Clooney. Clooney's recorded version reached only #17 on the Billboard magazine pop charts in early 1952, but it is more popular than the chart data would suggest, as is evidenced by the fact that Tenderly served as the theme song for Clooney's 1956-1957 TV variety show. The song featured in the 1953 film Torch Song.

"Early Autumn" is another favorite of mine sung by "Anita O'Day"

"Early Autumn" (1949) is a song composed by Ralph Burns and Woody Herman with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was a hit for Woody Herman in the year it was written.

"Claire de Lune" is one of the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard.

Suite bergamasque was first composed by Debussy around 1890, but was significantly revised just before its publication in 1905. It seems that by the time a publisher came to Debussy in order to cash in on his fame and have these pieces published, Debussy loathed the earlier piano style in which these pieces were written.[2] While it is not known how much of the Suite was written in 1890 and how much was written in 1905, we do know that Debussy changed the names of at least two of the pieces.

"Passepied" was called "Pavane", and "Clair de lune" was originally titled "Promenade Sentimentale." These names also come from Paul Verlaine's poems.[3] It is interesting, however, to note that "Promenade Sentimentale" alludes specifically to one of Verlaine's earliest collections, "Poèmes saturniens," a fact that Debussy obviously took into account when he changed the name (and most likely much of the music)[citation needed] in order to suit both his later style, and Verlaine's.

"My Funny Valentine" is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. After being recorded by Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, and Miles Davis, the song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.

"Round Midnight" appears in my collection by more artists than any other tune.

"'Round Midnight" is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk. Jazz artists Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Pepper, and Miles Davis have further embellished the song, with songwriter Bernie Hanighen adding lyrics. Both Williams and Hanighen have received co-credits for their contributions.

What standards can you add to this list that have haunted you for many years?

Jane Says Janes Addiction
Many, but given the title of your posting, I suggest:

"Haunted Heart" (In the night, while we're apart, there's a ghost of you within my haunted heart...")
What do you mean by haunted? Is it something good or bad?
Well if haunted means something bad, I submit these:

(1) Ballard of Holis Brown, a Dylan song. The one that gives me the creeps is the version by The Neville Brothers.
On the CD 'Yellow Moon'.

(2) Eleaner Rigby. Esp by Ray Charles.

I cannot listen to either of these songs. The mental images are just too much.

Perhaps haunting, not haunted, would have been a better word.
Orpheus, just how old are you?
"My one and only love"
Just thought of one more. " Bloodcount", written by Billy Strayhorn while sick with cancer. Both haunting and haunted.
John Coltrane playing Soul Eyes or Naima. The performance is as important as the song in this case--I've heard lots of versions of Naima (by other performers) that didn't come close.
The first one that pops to mind, all though I know there are others, is "Seventies Scenario" by Hall and Oates from their War Babies album. Creepy, and sad, but I love it.
Long Long Time - written by Gary White and sung by Linda Rondstadt. Haunting phrasing and words, sung in a haunting manner.
Softly as in a Morning Sunrise.
George Harrison's ; " Long Long Long '' off the Beatles '' White Album ''....that one gets me. '' Man In a Long Black Coat '' by Bob Dylan off of ; "' Oh Mercy '' ......these really evoke very different emotions for me personally.
Who has not recorded " Fever " ?
Tubular bells, anyone?
Orpheus. I would say Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind". Written by Bob in 1962, it's been covered by hundreds of artists. Most notably Peter, Paul & Mary. Other covers have been by The Hollies, country guitar virtuoso Chet Atkins, Odetta, Dolly Parton, folk chanteuse Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Marianne Faithfull (1964 single), Jackie DeShannon, The Seekers, soul singer Sam Cooke, blues belter Etta James, Duke Ellington, Neil Young (with air raid sound effects), the Doodletown Pipers, Marlene Dietrich, Bobby Darin, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Sielun Veljet, on their single "Blowin' in the Wind", Stevie Wonder (whose version became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966), John Fogerty, The Hooters on their 1994 album The Hooters Live, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and was performed by Jenny in the award-winning film Forrest Gump (sung by Joan Baez), and was lampooned in Me, Myself & Irene. The Me First and the Gimme Gimmes' version appears on their album Blow in the Wind, a play on the title of the song.

An instrumental arrangement by Stan Getz served as the B-side for Astrud Gilberto's 1964 hit single "The Girl From Ipanema" and Stanley Turrentine recorded an instrumental version on his album Common Touch (1968).

A traveling exhibition called Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956–1966, which was featured at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, contains an audio display with samples of dozens of different cover versions of the song, sung in numerous languages and from a variety of musical genres.

The song has also been sung and recorded in German by Marlene Dietrich as "Die Antwort weiss ganz allein der Wind".

Bender briefly sang this song when a magnet gets attached to his head on the Futurama episode "The Series Has Landed".

In Bengali there has been a translation of the song recorded by Bengali singer, songwriter, political activist Kabir Suman. It goes "Kotota Path" ("How Many Roads") in Bengali.

The song was translated to Romanian by poet Adrian Păunescu and was sung by folk band Pasărea Colibri under the name "Vânare de vânt" ("Windhunting").

The Italian version was written by Giulio Rapetti (better known as Mogol) and sung by Luigi Tenco with the title "La risposta (è caduta nel vento)" ("The answer (has fallen down the wind)").

Tore Lagergren wrote lyrics in Swedish, "Och vinden ger svar" ("and the wind gives answer"), which chartered at Svensktoppen for two weeks during 1963, first as recorded by Otto, Berndt och Beppo, peaking at #8 on October 12, and by Lars Lönndahl during November 9–15 with sixth and seventh position. Both were released on single A-sides during 1963. This lyrics version was also recorded by Sven-Ingvars, as B-side for the single "Du ska tro på mej", released in March 1967.[24] With these lyrics, the song also chartered at Svensktoppen in 1970, with Michael med Salt och peppar.

Hugues Aufray sang a French version, entitled "Dans le souffle du vent" ("In the blow of the wind"). Aufray has been known to adapt various international artists' songs to French, including several from Dylan's repertoire. Another French singer Richard Anthony recorded an adaptation of the song in French as "Ecoute dans le vent" (1964).

The song was covered on American singer-songwriter Jay Brannan's 2009 album In Living Cover.

Gerard Quintana (former lead singer of the Catalan rock band Sopa de Cabra) recorded a cover of this song in Catalan under the title "Escolta-ho en el vent" (Hear it in the wind) for his album Els Miralls de Dylan (Mirrors of Dylan).

Josh Sigurdson covered the song to critical acclaim in 2010.

Brazilian singer Zé Ramalho recorded a Portuguese language cover of this song called "O Vento vai Responder" (The Wind will Answer) on his 2008 album Zé Ramalho Canta Bob Dylan – Tá Tudo Mudando.

The song was covered and translated on Ukrainian by singer-songwriter Yuriy Veres 2012 album 60/70.

In addition, "Blowin' in the Wind" is one of seven Dylan songs whose lyrics were reset for soprano and piano (or orchestra) by John Corigliano for his song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.

And yes, that was a copy and paste.
Zd542, maybe a bad choice of words on my part. Probably followed you throughout your life, or that you heard on the radio ages ago, songs or melodies that you've liked in their many versions as long as you can remember, would be a more appropriate description of what I'm after.
Even if I liked that song, that is way more information than I would ever want to know about it. That aside, it's hard (for me ) to see it as haunting. I've always considered it a seminal 60's protest song.
I am surprised so far by some of the songs that posters consider "haunting", such as Fever. Sultry, yes, but haunting? I will be interested to see what other songs appear i this thread.
Rok, I didn't mean something bad. Eleaner Rigby is very sad; especially by Ray Charles, but I like it, although it makes me feel sad.

Eleaner Rigby could very well qualify for what I was looking for. I have it in as many versions as there are recorded. It would certainly qualify as one of the songs that's "haunted" my inner soul.
A few Haunted melodies that come to mind

Theme from Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky
Dance Macabre - Saen Saints
Night on Bald Mountain - Musskorsky

Memorable, some haunting, standard Pop melodies most have been recorded countless times by different artists off the top of my head

My Funny Valentine - Rodgers and Hart
Night and Day - Cole Porter
Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael
Yesterday - McCartney and Lennon
Body and Soul - Johnny Green (most notably the Coleman Hawkins version from the late 30's)
Round Midnight - Monk
Embraceable You - Gershwin

Haunting beautiful Classical standards

Ave verum corpus - Mozart
Claire de lune - Debussey
Ode to Billie Joe. Geez, why did Billie Joe MacAllister jump off the Tallahatchie Bridge?

Donjr, "Blowin in the Wind" is a good example. The one by Peter, Paul & Mary is my most memorable. That came out about the same time as "California Dreamin" by The Mama's and the Papa's". It seems everybody recorded "California Dreamin", which is another song that's "haunted" me, and exists in more versions than I can count, in my collection.


1. To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.
2. To visit often; frequent: haunted the movie theaters.
3. To come to the mind of continually; obsess: a riddle that haunted me all morning.
4. To be continually present in; pervade: the melancholy that haunts the composer's music.
To recur or visit often, especially as a ghost.
1. A place much frequented.


Maybe, it's not my choice of "word" but the description that fits your definition is the problem. "To recur or visit often", YES: "To inhabit, visit, or appear in the form of a ghost, NO: "The melancholy that haunts the composers music", YES.

While the word is ambiguous; as "audiophiles" and lovers of music, I believe we can discern the definition that best fits our use of the word.
"Stardust "
Tubular bells, anyone?
The sound track from "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir"
"haunted" by the moody blues.
Careful With That Axe Eugene.....it will haunt me forever.


why? why? why?..........................
I think "haunt" is a perfectly appropriate word for this; such is
the power of a great melody, lyric, or performance of a particular one. A
few that come to mind:

"Strange Fruit"- Billy Holiday
"Pie Jesu"- Faure, Requiem Op.48
"Naima"- Coltrane
"America"- by Ray Charles
"Sophisticated Lady"- Duke Ellington
Opening melody in "Rite Of Spring"- Igor Stravinsky
"Meditation" from Thais- Jules Massenet
"Isn't She Lovely"- Stevie Wonder
"Living For The City"- Stevie Wonder
"So What?"- Miles Davis
"Crazy"- Gnaris Barkley
"Adagio"- Clarinet Concerto, Mozart
"Ave Verum Corpus"- WA Mozart
"What A Wonderful World"- by Louis Armstrong
"Birdland"- Joe Zawinal
"A Time For Love"- Johnny Mandel
I do not believe the OP meant haunting. The songs he mentions in the body of his post are far from haunting. Did anyone read his post or just the subject line?
I would describe as "haunting" any melody or lyric that makes such an impression that it keeps popping into my consciousness when I least expect it; or the subconscious, as when I wake up in the morning and the tune in my head is the first thing that I am aware of. I don't think the word is reserved for ghostly matters or brooding introspection.
Frogman, that's perfect, and I like your list, but this would also include your definition of the word Donjr.

I found it amazing how many times the same songs appeared, and when they weren't on my list, I would have chosen them. The worst kind of "hauntings" are those related to long lost loves as in "Casablanca": "You played it for her, you can play it for me". This was of course in reference to Sam and Rick (Humphry Bogart) in the movie "Casablanca", and the song was "As time goes by".

"Softly As In a Morning Sunrise" was my Casablanca song, I couldn't stand to hear it for years. There are so many ways we find music "haunting". I feel fortunate that you shared your musical experiences with me; I even went to "Youtube" and listened to music I hadn't heard before. This has definitely broadened my musical appreciation.

I was crossing a bridge over some muddy river in Mississippi, when "Ode to Billy Joe" came on the radio. That was certainly unforgettable, and of course it's still in my collection. Certain music evokes images; "Harlem Nocturn" produces a big city skyline with skyscrapers silhouetted against a dark red sky, just before night when the city comes alive.

While there was no misunderstanding in regard to what I meant, I'll add some "specificity" that will allow us to continue this very interesting musical journey.
I checked out the word "haunting" to be precise and it means "beautiful, sad or frightening in a way that cannot be forgotten"

Words, and music pertaining to words, or words pertaining to music are always open to interpretation. Since half of the fun of any journey is the traveling, let us be on our way to wherever this takes us, and enjoy the ride.
Just a few:

Koto song - Dave Bruckek
Autumn leaves - many performances
Manha de Carnaval - from orpheu negro

Edorr, Manha de Carnival, is there any other? While that's number one, I have so many versions that I lost count.

Enjoy the music.

Marcus Roberts (born August 7, 1963, in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American jazz pianist who has achieved fame as a stride pianist committed to celebrating classic standards and jazz traditions. He must be re-incarnated because he plays music that's before my time, and it's music that I have never liked, but when he plays it I like it. I always feel as though I'm listening to some musician that was buried ages ago.

Right now I'm listening to "Arkansas Blues" by Marcus Roberts. In general I don't like "blues", Arkansas or otherwise, but I like what I'm hearing, and I know it's music they played when they had those crank type record players, and all those musicians are in "Gabriels" band, now that's "haunting" in more ways than one, because the music I'm hearing could not possibly come from someone born in 1963.
When I posted the soundtrack from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, although it appears to be a joke, it is an excellent recording with great music.

The melody that runs through the entire soundtrack is truly haunting and I suggest giving it a listen. Bernard Herrmann did a fabulous job on this one and it is some of his best work. The 1947 movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney is also worth watching.
Jperry, I gave what I found on "youtube" from a 1947 movie a listen, and it was kinda spooky, but I'm not sure if that's what you were referring to.

Songs and melodies that are haunting transcend musical genres. Glen Campbell's "By The Time I Get to Phoenix" is just such a song.

By the time I get to Phoenix she'll be rising
she'll find the note I left hangin' on her door
she'll laugh when she reads the part that says I'm leavin'
Cause I've left that girl so many times before

By the time I make Albuquerque she'll be working
She'll prob'ly stop at lunch and give me a call
But she'll just hear that phone keep on ringin'
Off the wall that's all

By the time I make Oklahoma she'll be sleepin'
She'll turn softly and call my name out loud
And she'll cry just to think I'd really leave her
Tho' time and time I try to tell her so
She just didn't know I would really go.

Those lyrics evoke a vision of someone staring down a highway through tear filled eyes, stopping to get gas in Phoenix and Albuqerque before reaching Oklahoma. It's certainly haunted me through the years.

Enjoy the music.

Can't go wrong with the original Luis Bonfa rendition in all its simplicity. Is your forum name inspired by Orpheu Negro?

Another haunting song of great simplicity, melancholy and beauty is "ne me quitte pas" by Jacques Brel.
Watch the movie and/or listen to the entire soundtrack. The melody will stick in your brain in a haunting sort of way. It is also a very good movie, and if you are into soundtracks, one of Bernard Hermann's finest.

He composed many other famous soundtracks in cluding Psycho, Vertigo and Citizen Kane.
Edorr, I recall first hearing, "ne me quitte pas" by Shirley Bassey and it's haunted me every since. When she sang, "But if you stay, I'll make you a night like no night has been or will be again", I could just imagine that night. Yes, "Jacquel Brel's" ne me quitte pas, is very haunting, that's why so many people have sang it, although the melody without words is even more haunting.

Enya version of Marble Halls.
ne me quitte pas :

I think Miss Nina Simone owns this song.  Others may sing it, but it belongs to her.

"Where Or When" (written by Rodgers & Hart) as performed by Dave Edmunds on his Get It album. Dreamy. Also "Let It Be Me" (originally a hit by The Everly Brothers, and performed on Self Portrait by Bob Dylan) on his Subtle As a Flying Mallet album. Ditto.
1-Would I Be Crying by the Flamingos
2-Still  by the Commodores
3- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Lillian Leach and the Mellows
And about 100 others.
Just to single out one, that is "haunting" to me in the positive senses of the term that have been mentioned: The version of "On The Street Where You Live" that was ghost sang by Bill Shirley for Jeremy Brett in the movie version of "My Fair Lady."


(I believe the introductory singing in the first 40 seconds was Jeremy Brett’s own voice).

-- Al

Is That All There Is? - Peggy Lee
The Ghost In You - Psychedelic Furs
#9 Dream - John Lennon
Rainy Night In Georgia - Brook Benton
Telephone Line - ELO
Amelia - Joni Mitchell
Rites - Jan Garbarek

"On Broadway" by The Drifters. "Maybe" by The Chantels (also by Dave Edmunds on his Subtle As A Flying Mallet album, which has some other haunting songs as well---see above).

This thread has gotten the most amazing results; it seems that the same songs have haunted us all. Although the way I used that word "Haunted" is ambiguous, it still worked, because it got the answers I was seeking. What's even more surprising is that so many chose songs that I had long forgotten, but they had the same effect on me; take "Maybe" by the Chantels; how could I forget that ever lasting, never ending "teenage love".

Another amazing thing about these songs is how they cross all boundaries in regard to genre; like "Ode To Billy Joe" for example.

Have a happy holiday, and

Enjoy the music.

"Knockin' On Heavens Door" by Bob Dylan (used brilliantly in the Sam Peckinpah movie Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid).

"Whispering Pines" and "The Unfaithful Servant" by The Band (on the brown album).

The following songs (with the album the song is included on in brackets) from the most romantic of all the Rock 'n' Roll era songwriters, Brian Wilson, as recorded by The Beach Boys:

"In My Room" (Surfer Girl)

"Don't Worry Baby" (Shut Down Volume 2)

"God Only Knows" and "Caroline, no" (Pet Sounds)

"Fall Breaks And Back To Winter---W. Woodpecker Symphony" (Smiley Smile). VERY spooky.

"Here Comes The Night" (Wild Honey). A rather terrifying song.

"Our Prayer" (20/20)

"Til I Die" and "Disney Girls"---actually a Bruce Johnston song (Surfs Up)

I Am The Walrus: the opening chords and then again in the middle before "sitting in an English garden..." 1967 was a dark for me as a kid and that song on AM radio always took me to another place a little scarier than the one I lived in