Song lyrics to Why Was I Born? (1929) music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
“Why Was I Born?” is a 1929 song composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was written for the show “Sweet Adeline” (1929).
Why was I born?
Why am I living?
What do I get?
What am I giving?
Why do I want a thing I daren’t hope for?
What can I hope for?
I wish I knew
Why do I try to draw you near me?
Why do I cry?
You never hear me
I’m a poor fool, but what can I do?
Why was I born to love you?
- Sweet Adeline (1929) by Helen Morgan
- The Red Skelton Show – Clem the Rookie by Diahann Carroll
- Lena Horne in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
- Billie Holiday – recorded the song for Brunswick Records on January 25, 1937 with Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra.
- Frank Sinatra for Columbia Records (1947).
- Vic Damone reached No. 20 in the Billboard charts in 1949 with the song.
- Dorothy Lamour – The Road to Romance…For Bing, Bob and You! (1957).
- Judy Garland – The London Sessions (1960) 
- Margaret Whiting – Margaret Whiting Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook (1960)
- Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook (1963)
- Dinah Washington – for her album Dinah ’63 (1963).
- Georgia Brown – Georgia Brown (The Sensational New Singing Star of Oliver!) (1963).
- Cher – Bittersweet White Light (1973)
- Sonny Rollins – Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert (2005)
- Bob Dylan – Triplicate (2017)