91 today. I don't know that I've ever heard anyone but Lenya sing this, that I remember, and it boggles the mind to think that this was what pop television - even, admittedly, failed pop television - was like a half-century ago (feeling old yet?).
Watching Garland sing it - make it her own, no mean feat up against the likes of the Widow Weill - makes me realize what, in the right hands, can make this song so devastating: it's about being profoundly alone (watch her as she sings that word), existentially lost in a vast and uncaring universe - but it ends in, of all things, the first person plural: we're lost, out here in the stars. Seeing her standing there, slim in her crisp Aghayan gown, on a stage that's a runway to nowhere, her steamer trunk at once an altar and a fortress against the dark void, it's hard to imagine a more solitary performer, or one who so wholly pulls you in, dangerously, darkly, warmly, with a kindness as infinite as her despair. We're lost out here, with the star.
Happy birthday, Frances Gumm, wherever you are.