Some thirty-odd years ago when I was three
My sister a couple years older than me
We'd get to go down to the old Chez Paree
On the North side of downtown Chicago

My dad worked the door with a wide-open hand
Tuxedo-ed and tailored, a most handsome man
My mother auditioned to sing with the band
The most beautiful girl in the room

All the performers who came there to play
Sinatra and Bennett and young Mel Torme
"They'd hang from the rafters," my father would say
On those magical nights at the Chez

One evening that winter my sister and me
All dressed up and bow-tied and cute as could be
We found ourselves leaning on opposite knees
Of a man with a rather large nose

A smelly cigar in the one hand he held
A signature hat made of floppy gray felt
He scooped us both up in his arms as he knelt
And he tickled me right through my suit

All the performers who came there to play
Jimmy Durante and young Danny Kaye
"They'd hang from the rafters," my father would say
On those magical nights at the Chez

So there on Mom's dresser this photograph sits
Of Durante and Debbie and David as kids
Before life got tricky, good God how it did
And we scattered like leaves in the wind

Dad stayed in Chicago, Mom moved to L.A.
Deborah's in Portland and I'm day to day
And the memories and miles seem so far away
From those innocent nights at the Chez

So here's to the family, God bless every one
Though the memories and moments were not always fun
Somehow we survived them and learned to move on
Forgiving what nobody knew

All the performers who came there to play
Sophie Tucker, Nat King Cole, Maurice Chevalier
And struggling young families finding their way
Through those magical nights
Those innocent nights, those magical nights
At the Chez


Lyrics submitted by bananahero

Nights at the Chez song meanings
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