A Short History of … “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” (Irving Berlin, 1937)

“I cannot remember the worst December / Just watch the icicles form / What do I care if icicles form / I’ve got my love to keep me warm.” While there is no mention of the Christmas holiday in its lyrics, despite the fact that it has been included in many Christmas albums over the years, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is certainly appropriate for the season.


The great composer Irving Berlin, who wrote many songs for the movies, composed this one for the 1937 musical On the Avenue.

The film starred Dick Powell and Alicie Faye, who perform this song in the movie. On the Avenue was intended to rival the popularity of the flicks starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but it failed. All that is widely remembered of the film, to this day, is the soundtrack, and particularly this song which has been recorded by countless artists over the years – Mildred Bailey and Billie Holiday recorded their own versions the same year the film was released.

“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” was also one of the songs featured on the 1957 Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald album Ella and Louis Again, the sequel to their acclaimed 1956 album Ella and Louis. The fact that this was not a Christmas album shows just how versatile and adaptable this standard really is.

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