Looking into some jazz terminology here, I came across a definition of "chorus" that says

One complete cycle of a tune, one time through from top to bottom

Also on that page, part of the definition of "verse" is

... Jazz players (and fakebooks) usually omit the verse...

That made me think that perhaps some early standards came from vaudeville or tin pan alley songs, where the verse was dropped.

If that's correct, would anyone have any examples? I'd like to be able to listen to the original as well as the dropped verse version.


A few songs come readily to mind. Of course this isn't the familiar verse-chorus structure we're used to today, these "verses" are more like introductions.

Makin' Whoopie: With Verse / Alternate Verse / Without
Blue Skies: With Verse / Without
Fly Me To the Moon: With Verse / Without

It seems like Tony Bennett likes to include the verses. Sinatra tends to omit them. Interestingly enough including the verse and the later stanzas[?] of Makin' Whoopee entirely changes the meaning and implications of the song.

  • Thanks Chris, I appreciate the links. – Mike Hildner Jun 9 '17 at 11:51

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