"The Man that Got Away" is a popular song, published in 1953 and was written for the 1954 version of the movie A Star Is Born. The music was written by Harold Arlen, and the lyrics by Ira Gershwin. In 1955 it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2004, Garland's performance of the song was selected by the American Film Institute as the eleventh greatest song in American cinema history.
Arlen had originally collaborated with Johnny Mercer, who wrote lyrics that began "I've seen Sequoia, it's really very pretty, the art of Goya, and Rockefeller City, but since I saw you, I can't believe my eyes." The Gershwin Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin contains a typescript draft of the lyrics with Ira Gershwin's handwritten changes.
The night is bitter, The stars have lost their glitter, The winds grow colder And suddenly you're older, And all because of the man that got away. No more his eager call, The writing's on the wall, The dreams you dreamed have all Gone astray.
The man that won you Has gone off and undone you. That great beginning Has seen the final inning. Don't know what happened.
It's all a crazy game! No more that all-time thrill, For you've been through the mill, And never a new love will Be the same.
Good riddance, good-bye! Ev'ry trick of his you're on to. But, fools will be fools, And where's he gone to? The road gets rougher, It's lonelier and tougher. With hope you burn up, Tomorrow he may turn up.
There's just no letup the live-long night and day! Ever since this world began There is nothing sadder than A one-man woman looking for The man that got away, The man that got away.