One of the Wonders of Pop Music – "Answer Me, My Love."
Thesongopens with a sunburst of orchestra and full-pitched choir, like the opening of heaven itself. The song is "Answer Me, My Love". In 1954 the song became Nat Cole's fifth number-one hit record.
Originally, the lyrics were written and recorded in Germany, as "Mutterlein". Later it was transcribed into English as "Answer Me, Oh Lord Above".
At some point the song was offered to record producer Lee Gillette of Capitol Records, in the United States "There was a big record on it (in England)," Gillette recalled in 1977. "So I got with the publisher in New York and we went over the song and I said, "You know, I'd love to record this with Nat Cole, but we just aren't going in that (religious) direction. Why don't you change the title of it and rewrite a couple of the lyrics? Instead of 'Answer me, oh lord above', make it 'Answer me, oh my love'. And he did. And we recorded it. And it was a million seller."
A big part of the song's success was its striking melody, and, on Cole's recording, the use of a large choir, coupled with Nelson Riddles' inspired arrangement for string orchestra.
"Answer Me, My Love" was destined to become one of the great anthems of the 1950s, along with Frank Sinatra's classic "All the Way", and "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin.
"Answer Me, My Love" has been recorded by a number of popular singers over the years, including Petula Clark, Renée Fleming, Johnny Rivers, and Joni Mitchell. In the 1990s, Bob Dylan included the song as a part of his concert repertoire.
Nat Cole's version for Capitol records, is that rare pop hit that belies its age, and sounds as fresh today as it did in 1954.