”I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby” is an American popular song and jazz standard by Jimmy McHugh (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics). [Two other songs that they wrote together: “I’m in the Mood for Love” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”.]
The idea behind the song came during a stroll Fields and McHugh were taking one evening down Fifth Avenue; they saw a young couple window-shopping at Tiffany’s. McHugh and Fields understood that the couple did not have the resources to buy jewelry from Tiffany’s, but nevertheless they drew closer to them. It was then they heard the man say, “Gee, honey I’d like to get you a sparkler like that, but right now, i can’t give you nothin’ but love!” Immediately upon hearing this, they came up with “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby” within an hour!
In the 100-most recorded songs from 1890 to 1954, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” (1928) is No. 24! The most recent popular recording is by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in their 2014 collaborative jazz album Cheek to Cheek.
Once again, I’ve distilled the essence of the song into less than 60 seconds.
I hope you enjoy this Weiss Music Minute, a love song dedicated to patient Lisa C.