Does the jazz standard "Lament" by J.J. Johnson have lyrics? My Google searches have turned up empty.

  • 1
    It sure sounds like "Lament" should have lyrics, since it's in such a clear ballad style. Still, like you, my extensive online searches turn up no mention of lyrics, not even in this one blogger's particularly thorough discussion of the song's mechanics: wallacebass.com/?p=1916. I suggest that's evidence that the song didn't have published lyrics, but it's certainly not proof. Maybe someone needs to write some lyrics after the fact?
    – mlibby
    Dec 5, 2015 at 19:27

3 Answers 3


If you are asking if J.J. Johnson himself wrote lyrics on Lament, I would say no.

On this first release of the standard, in the Jay & Kay album in 1955, there is no lyrics, and no credited singer :

Baritone Saxophone – Leo Parker (tracks: A5)
Bass – Al Lucas (tracks: A5), Charlie Mingus* (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4), Eddie Safranski (tracks: B5)
Drums – Kenny Clarke (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4), Shadow Wilson (tracks: A5), Tiny Kahn (tracks: B5)
Engineer – Rudy Van Gelder (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4)
Guitar – Billy Bauer (tracks: A2 to A4, B4)
Liner Notes – Jack McKinney
Piano – Hank Jones (tracks: A5), Lou Stein (tracks: B5), Wally Cirillo (tracks: A1, B1 to B3)
Supervised By – Ozzie Cadena (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4)
Trombone – J. J. Johnson* (tracks: A1 to B4), Kai Winding (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B5)

The same year, Hazel Scott covers the song on the piano (Hazel Scott - Lament), but doesn't sing on it, even she's a reputed singer.

Also, I didn't find any covers with vocals.


Jon Hendricks wrote lyrics, "Lambert, Hendricks and Ross"


This is a version of the tune with lyrics sung nicely by Bev Kelly; I'll try to find out who wrote them and get back here with the gen.

Lament - Bev Kelly (Live at the Jazz Safari)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.