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"Sentimental Journey" is a popular song, published in 1944. The music was written by Les Brown and Ben Homer, and the lyrics were written by Bud Green.


Les Brown and His Band of Renown had been performing the song, but were unable to record it because of the 1942–44 musicians' strike. When the strike ended, the band, with Doris Day as vocalist, had a hit record with the song, Day's first #1 hit, in 1945.[1] The song's release coincided with the end of WWII in Europe and became the unofficial homecoming theme for many veterans.[1] The recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 36769, with the flip side "Twilight Time".[2] The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 29, 1945 and lasted 23 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.[3] The song actually reached the charts after the later-recorded "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time".

About this same time, the Merry Macs had a recording following Brown and Day which featured a bouncy arrangement where the group modulates (or augments) the verse eight times in the last half of the song. A vocal feat for any group attempting to record a song in one take without the benefit of tape editing in that era of modern recording.

The song later became something of a standard with jazz artists and was recorded by, among others, Buck Clayton with Woody Herman and by Ben Sidran. Frank Sinatra recorded his version of the song in 1961. Rosemary Clooney issued an album Sentimental Journey (2001) which included the song. Harry James recorded a version in 1965 on his album New Versions Of Down Beat Favorites (MGM E-4265).


The song describes someone about to take a train to a place to which they have a great emotional attachment and their mounting anticipation while wondering why they ever roamed away. The opening verse is:

Cover versions

In popular culture

The song features prominently in the 1978 MASH episode "Your Hit Parade", as Col. Potter – citing a long-standing infatuation with Doris Day – requests the song be played over the camp P.A. system several times during the day.

In the UK spot on The Muppet Show Episode 3:09 with Judy Collins, Gonzo and Kermit the Frog sang the song on their way back to the show.

It was the theme song of the ABC Radio program Sentimental Journey presented by John West.

The song is featured in Season 2, Episode 4 of The Man in the High Castle.

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