#47 “Some Other Spring” (Irene Kitchings)

“Some Other Spring” is one of the most enigmatic poems in the Countdown. There’s an astonishing amount we don’t know about the lyric, even though it’s listed at the site linked above as the 631st-greatest jazz standard of all time (jazz has its countdowns, too).

We don’t know much about the author of the lyric aside from her name. Seriously, if you try Googling “Irene Kitchings,” you enter a sort of twilight world of information where the usual Internet authorities are improbably confused. Irene Kitchings may or may not have been married to pianist Teddy Wilson, she may or may not have had other marriages and other surnames. She may or may not have written “Some Other Spring,” for that matter, and she’s associated with only one other jazz lyric, the Billie Holiday song “I’m Pulling Through,” which has a similar ethereal beauty. But what I can tell you for sure about Irene Kitchings and her relation to this lyric approaches zero.

I also can’t tell you the exact words of the lyric. I can do a little better than the Internet, though that’s not saying a lot. The version I have on my class handout reads:

Some other spring I’ll try to love,
Now I still cling to faded blossoms.
Fresh when worn, left crushed and torn
Like the love affair I mourn.

Some other spring, when twilight falls,
Will the nights bring another to me?
Not your kind – but let me find
It’s not true that love is blind.

Sun shines around me,
But deep in my heart, it’s cold as ice.
Love, once you found me,
But can that story be told twice?

Some other spring will my heart wake,
Stirring to sing love’s magic music?
Then forget the old duet,
And love in some other spring.

I think I’ve improved here on some versions that you can find on lyrics websites, like “Fresh from worn / Left chrushed and torn” or “Fresh when one left crushed and torn. / Like the love affair I’m on.” I have introduced the phrase “And love in some other spring” in the final line, but Billie Holiday sings “In love with some other spring,” which is also good. I’ve heard it sung both ways, and I prefer “and love in” – slightly. And after all, Billie Holiday shouldn’t be the expert here. On one and the same canonical recording, she sings “But can that story unfold twice?” the first time through the middle eight, and “But can that story be told twice?” the second time.

What is the text? And in the case of a song where we’re not even very sure of the author, and a musical genre where the singers are notorious improvisers, how can we ever be sure?

In the case of great modern song lyric, we are back in a situation that reminds me of medieval poetry: uncertain transmission, strong connection to music, semi-anonymous authors.

And potent, timeless themes. The connection of love to a faded blossom appears in many songs and lyrics. Wilhelm Müller’s “Trockne Blumen,” which was set to music by Schubert as one of his most famous “Lieder,” evokes the possibility that the flowers the speaker has received from a lover will fade, but still outlive him after he dies of a broken heart. Edmund Waller, in a famous English lyric from before our period, tells a rose sent to a lover to

die, that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.

The theme is old, but the idea that spring will offer renewals even after we as individuals can no longer share in them is inescapable, and is perfectly captured in Kitching’s lyric. It may be not with the lover she so longed for, but she can’t but hope for “some other spring.” As Müller’s speaker, even beyond the grave, can’t help but answer:

Dann, Blümlein alle,
Heraus, heraus!
Der Mai ist kommen,
Der Winter ist aus.

Then, all you blossoms,
Come out, come out!
May has come in,
And winter is over.

13 responses to “#47 “Some Other Spring” (Irene Kitchings)

  1. Some other Spring
    “Some other spring I’ll try to love; now I still cling to faded blossoms”. What is love if it is lost and forgotten? The speaker in this particular poem reflects on a past love affair that made her believe that it was meant for eternity. For whatever reason, love can take a turn for the worse but certainly end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. She is able to live and learn from the good things that came out of being in love and focus on the beauty of her pain. The pain is learning to love again and beginning to trust again. She writes, “But deep in my heart, it’s cold as ice.” It just makes me wonder who will be the next victim. Sometimes we don’t know the depth of the pain when we meet that new person. “Love, once you found me, but can that story be told twice.” She has doubts about loving twice. Waking up another day, and no longer does she feel the never-ending moments with that person. The love came to a sudden halt and she’s stuck having to endure an open wound. Only time will heal her. He still has a presence in her mind if she still in fact thinks about him. Some of those fond memories just won’t fade away. Then she says, “Some other spring will my heart wake.” In other words, will she ever be the same? The effect of a relationship changes the spirit of a person. She’s changed in that she hopes to forget some of the things that hindered her progress mentally. Though she has a wound that needs mending, her mind is made up to find another love in the midst of her bruise to complete the emptiness that he left.

  2. This poem reflects the age old question, once love is lost can it ever be found again? I’d like to think so. In the poem/song there is a line that talks about mourning a love affair. I think every relationship that ends has a mourning period. The speaker seems to see love all around her in the line but it seems she can’t let go of her previous relationship. Any relationship that was worthwhile should be mourned. Some people don’t know how to move on from a failed relationship. Some people seem to “cling” to the past and dwell on it. The singer may be one of those individuals, she seems to entertain the idea but isn’t willing to commit. She seems to placate the reader by using the phrase “some other spring.” I think the anonymity of the author is interesting it may be written by someone who portrays a confident attitude about love and loss but wants to let the emotions out. Maybe the author is a man using a pseudonym? Men are not often encouraged to show their feelings and emotions. Some people may take them to be weak. Whoever wrote really wrote this poem, as simple as it is, captured something that really is deep and moving.

  3. The ending of a relationship can sometimes be a traumatic experience for some. It can make one question the existence of love and of worthiness. Love is an incredible “drug” that makes life so worth living. When a relationship does not continue, for some people, it can be a hard pill to swallo9w. For others, it is a relief and still, for another group of people, it can be seen as a relief and as a new beginning. In the poem “Some Other Spring,” the person is broken hearted and questions the possibility of finding true love again. A mask of happiness is described when she says “Sun shines around me, But dep in my heart, it’s as cold as ice.” One can pretend to be happy when deep down a heavy heart and sadness exist. I think she longs to find someone new and she hopes that it is possible to find love again. She clings to thoughts of the broken relationship, yet longs to find a new life in a new relationship and hopes to “then forget the old duet” and be happy again. Relationships are sometimes difficult and frustrating and they can hurt like heck when things do not work out and a person is deeply in love. The question of being able to find that again is a scary one for some. Love is something that I think we all want to one day find and hold on to, for it makes one feel complete and invincible. It is amazing what a powerful feeling that is.

  4. At any one point in time, every writer writes about love. The poem poses a question whether the speaker will be able to love again. Although questioned, I believe that the poem is pushing more into the positive than negative direction. Especially since the word “spring” appears even in the title. Spring usually associates us with something new, fresh, and recuperating. I believe that the speaker realizes that he/she will be getting over her old love as time passes by. I enjoyed reading this poem because as I did, I pictured the spring, sunshine, twilight, etc. The poem is very expressive and signals hope. I also enjoyed listening to the song during class. The tone of the song was very calm, but only when I heard it, was when I realized that it was more sad than happy. Reading the words and listening to them made me interpret the same poem/song differently. To me, this poem had a different mood to it than any of the others we have read. Maybe if we knew more about the poet we would be able to better associate these words with the actual meaning. Then again, each person interprets a poem or a song using their own way of thinking. Will this poem/song end in a happy or sad way? I still haven’t decided…

  5. Some Other Spring is my favorite poem so far. It’s a classic poem of Love and Hope! Some people my say that this is not a great poem because there are too many poems about Love and this is just another one to add to the list. In fact I believe someone in the class said something along those lines. However, I would have to disagree. Although Love is the topic of many poems, the speaker of this poem has a new way of saying what has been said before and in my opinion says it better. I found the words used in the poem very refreshing in fact. I thought it was very interesting how the strongest lines were placed in the third paragraph, since that particular paragraph is the one that is structured differently and stands out the most. “Sun shines around me, But deep in my heart, it’s cold as ice. Love, once you found me, But can that story be told twice?” To me, these lines meant; others are happy in love, but I am sad and lonely. I was once happily in love. Will I love again? One thing I really enjoy about this class is that we get to see how differently people react to a poem. My reaction was that the speaker is speaking of love itself not the love for a particular person. However, I appreciated another student’s thoughts that the poem is about restoring a love with someone in particular. Both ideas seem hopeful to me!

  6. Some Other Spring is a poem that expresses the bitter sweet of love. Love is something we can all relate to. Spring is such a happy season, it is the time of year with freshness, new beginnings, calm and enjoyable days. Much like love, when you are in a new love affair you feel a new beginning for this true love you have found or that found you. Everyday is filled with laughter and a song to your heart. This poem is filled with hurt but would like to experience love again. To want to love again but still feel the pain from your past will make you ask yourself the question. The question will I ever love again, will I find that true love. As stated in the poem the love that will wake my heart, sing love’s magic music and forget the old duet. I can truly relate to this poem, it may be disappointing to some but to me it tells a story and express a feeling. A feeling that is true and felt from falling in love with spring that brought joy and laughter . It tells the story of two that go hand in hand love and pain. Love that brings joy and pain that brings sorrow, opposite but continues to attract.

  7. This poem is about someone who has fallen in love and the relationship ended for some reason. When a person has been with somebody for a long time and their relationship ends it is hard to get over that person. I believe this person in the poem is deep in love and wantsto go back to loving that special person. When people break up they often question, will they ever love again. Love is like drug that we all need deep within. Love is something that everyone hopes to find one day with a special person. I like this poem because everyone can relate to it. Everyonr csn relate to loving or being in love with someone. This poem puts my mind at ease and gives me a good feeling.

  8. I like this poem by Kitchings. I feel it is simply written, but has a deep meaning. Not one that you have to try and figure out, but one that everyone can relate to, or will relate to. In the first stanza the speaker says she will try to love again, but she is still mourning the ending of another relationship. Usually it is that mourning that keeps us from loving again, and makes us not want to, but the speaker in this poem knows that she does want to love again. She isn’t discouraged enough to give up on love. The second stanza the speaker describes falling in love again, and when she says “not your kind” I think she is talking to her last love. When a person is in a relationship and it ends, the next person is usually like the last one. Maybe that is why relationships typically don’t work out because people always want to hold on to what once was. We are scared of change and of something new. I like that the speaker says, “Not your kind,” because she knows that if he was of that kind, she would be left heartbroken again. In the third stanza the speaker asks if the story can be told twice. And I believe it can, maybe not the exact situation, but I believe she can fall in love again, she will be able to move on and have a different version of the story. The last stanza she asks if she will love again and forget about her last heartbreak, I believe it is possible. I like that Kitchings compares love to flowers, and music, a “duet.” It sounds romantic and when I think about the way nature and music make me feel, it makes me appreciate them all, and also appreciate being in love.

  9. “Some Other Spring” by Irene Kitchings is a beautifully written poem with a fascinating background. The fact that not much is known about the original writer is interesting. Billie Holiday sings a beautiful version of this song that truly touches me, as I am a huge fan of Jazz. The lyric in this poem is eloquent, and is very deep. Love is a beautiful thing, but a very tragic thing at the same time. As much as anyone might say they don’t, everyone wants to love another and be loved. When a heart is broken, it is very tough to mend it. I believe this story does a wonderful job of explaining the broken heart and how it yearns for love even though it hurts.
    “Some other spring I’ll try to love,
    now I still cling to faded blossoms.
    Fresh when worn, left crushed and torn
    like the love affair I mourn.”
    The idea that spring comes again, and brings in a new beginning is well expressed. And the way this poem ends is ideal. It dwells on forgetting the old duet and moving forward.

  10. I really liked this poem. It gives you a sensation of hope and dispare at the same time. It takes you back to that moment in which you could of sung the song with all your heart. The aurthor is still hurt from a love that didn’t last too long. She states that at first the blossoms are fresh later left torn and crushed. The blossoms could be like the feelings and sensations of beeing in love and beeing loved. That once it is over all you have is broken feelings. She wonders if love would come nocking at her door once more. As though if she doesn’t think that she will love the same anymore. When i think of the word spring i think of the crisp refressing water. More like a fresh and crisp relationship. She is hopefull that another person will come and breath air into her lungs again. Make her feel the senstation of being in love once more. She really uses her words well to give the reader the power to feel her pain and her hope to ocnce more fall in love. This is a great poem.

  11. upon my first time hearing this poem i did not get much out of it. I did’t feel as if there was much meat in it. Although the idea of losing a lover and hoping to find a new one seems cliche it is universal, and a pain that all humanity must deal with (maybe) and therefore just as viable of a topic as any other, also she does use beautiful imagery. As I was leaving class there was a ricky martin song playing and the simple verses stuck in my mind and the catchy song lingered in me as i mumbled the words under my breathe congruently this poem song what have you has the same effect. perhaps the song is simple and trite yet these few verses endure and live within the people who like it.

  12. This is by far the best poem that we have done in class so far, I really enjoyed this and then hearing Billy Holiday sing took the poem in a different direction and had a different meaning too it. This truly explains someones heart how they feel about love. So many people could identify with this poem, I believe people would find it hard to that it was a poem and then a song. When I read this I could feel the emotions coming from the writer just as if I was outside writing this about my own love life.

  13. According to Carmen McRae, who was very good friends with Irene Kitchings, Irene was indeed married to tTeddy Wilson. Listen to Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz radio show, the one with Carmen McRae, they both kew Kitchings and talk about her and Some Other Spring.

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