I thought I knew a good deal about Mildred Bailey and Red Norvo — the records and sheet music (copies of IT’S SO PEACEFUL IN THE COUNTRY, ‘LEVEN POUNDS OF HEAVEN, WHEN IT’S SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH, and — less frequently — ROCKIN’ CHAIR). But this one, from 1932, is new to me. And that the sheet music heralds it as MILDRED BAILEY’S THEME SONG is even more of a surprise, especially since I thought that Mildred had adopted Hoagy Carmichael’s ROCKIN’ CHAIR as hers before 1932. Was there a brief Bailey – Carmichael rift?
Billy Moll is almost forgotten today, but he was part of three remarkable compositions: ICE CREAM, WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS, and I WANT A LITTLE GIRL. Mildred was Al Rinker’s sister; Rinker, Barris, and a fellow named Crosby were friends and musical partners in the Rhythm Boys — thus the trail might lead back to a Rinker – Bailey – Crosby connection by way of WRAP YOUR TROUBLES.
And here’s what I could find online — from the index to the sheet music collection of the Indiana State University Library. The first line of the verse is: “Shadows creep to end a lonely day, and soon the stars appear above. . . .and the chorus begins, “In a sleepy little village, let me lay me down to sleep again.”
But somehow I think this song wasn’t a huge hit. Did anyone else record it? Or did Mildred say, “Hey, hands off! This is my [possibly soporific] theme song! Get your own sleepy little village!”?
May your happiness increase.