Let Me Entertain You: The Top Ten Songs by Jule Styne

By Ben Rimalower
18 Jan 2014

3. "The Party's Over" from Bells Are Ringing, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green

There are a lot of first-rate songs in the score to Bells Are Ringing, including (to name but a few!) the standard "Just In Time," the 11 o'clock barnstormer "I'm Going Back" and the aforementioned "Long Before I Knew You." Still, the most exquisite is the wistful "The Party's Over." It has certainly entered our collective consciousness in a profound way. The words expertly convey a feeling we all know — all too well — but the music transcends even that, capturing exactly the very sadness that comes with every ending. The metaphor "the party's over" is a useful one, and if it is forever linked to the song, the song is so powerful because of its music.