chimney pot, a pipe of earthenware or metal fitted on top of a chimney to increase the draft and carry off the smoke. –The World Book Dictionary

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Today I’d like to tell you about a classy dame by the name of KAY SWIFT, who was the first woman to write the complete score for an American musical (FINE AND DANDY, in 1930). To be honest, though, that wasn’t what prompted me to write this post — the real trigger was that, although I’ve long been a fan of her music, today I came across a song of hers I hadn’t heard before, and I liked it so much that I’d like to share it with you (along, while I’m at it, with two other Swift favorites).

The song I hadn’t heard before (with the curious title UP AMONG THE CHIMNEY POTS) is sung here by jazz vocalist Louise Carlyle, with the composer at the piano:

SWIFT was born in NYC in 1897. She trained as a classical musician and composer at what is now called the Julliard School, but was a great fan of popular songwriter Irving Berlin and, later, George Gershwin, with whom she became intimately involved (for more, go to this link, then click BIOGRAPHY (upper left below the word SWIFT):


Swift married her first husband, banker James Warburg, in 1918. A banker might be the last person you think of as a writer of lyrics to romantic songs, but’s that’s exactly what he was (under the name Paul James) to the music of his composer wife….until they divorced in 1934 — the same year he resigned as financial advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt.

I turn now to the first-written (1929) of my favorite Kay Swift/Paul James songs:

Let’s close with the title song from the aforementioned 1930 musical FINE AND DANDY: