Mitchell Parish

Mitchell Parish (born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky; July 10, 1900 – March 31, 1993)[1] was an American lyricist.

Mitchell Parish
Birth nameMichael Hyman Pashelinsky
Born(1900-07-10)July 10, 1900
OriginLithuania, Russian Empire
DiedMarch 31, 1993(1993-03-31) (aged 92)
Manhattan, New York, United States

Early lifeEdit

Parish was born to a Jewish family in Lithuania.[2][3] His family emigrated to the United States, arriving on February 3, 1901 on the SS Dresden when he was less than a year old. They settled first in Louisiana where his paternal grandmother had relatives, but later moved to New York City.


By the late 1920s, Parish was a well-regarded Tin Pan Alley lyricist in New York City.[1]

His best-known works include the lyrics to songs such as "Stardust", "Sweet Lorraine", "Deep Purple", "Stars Fell on Alabama", "Sophisticated Lady", the translation to English lyrics of "Volare" and "Blue Skirt Waltz", "Moonlight Serenade", "Mr. Ghost Goes to Town", "Sleigh Ride", "One Morning in May", and "Louisiana Fairy Tale",[1] which was the first theme song used in the PBS Production of This Old House.

Besides providing the lyrics to Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust", the two collaborated on standards such as "Riverboat Shuffle" and "One Morning in May".[4]

In 1949, Parish added lyrics to bandleader Al Goodman's tune "The Allen Stroll", which was played as radio comedian Fred Allen took a stroll down "Allen's Alley", a featured segment of Allen's weekly show. The new song, "Carousel of Love", premiered on The Fred Allen Show on April 4, 1949. It was sung by the DeMarco Sisters and played by Al Goodman and his Orchestra.

In 1950, he wrote lyrics to Leroy Anderson's "The Syncopated Clock".[5]

In 1951, he wrote the English lyrics of the French song "Maître Pierre" which was written in 1948 by Henri Betti (music) and Jacques Plante (lyrics). The title song became "The Windmill Song" and the song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters with Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra.

In 1987, a revue titled Stardust was staged on Broadway featuring Parish's lyrics. It ran for 101 performances and was revived in 1999. In an interview at the time Parish claimed to have also written the lyrics to the Duke Ellington standard "Mood Indigo", though they were credited to Irving Mills. He remained "somewhat rueful, though no longer bitter" about it.[6]

Parish's grandnephew was the Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parish, who described Parish's meeting with Jerry Garcia in his autobiography, Home Before Day Light.

In 1972, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[7]


Parish died in 1993 in Manhattan at the age of 92. He was buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, New York.

Work on BroadwayEdit


  • Hill, Tony L. "Mitchell Parish, 1900-1993," in Dictionary of Literary Biography 265. Detroit: Gale Research, 2002.


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1903/4. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Bloom, Nate (2006-12-19). "The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs". InterfaithFamily. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (December 22, 2014). "All those Holiday/Christmas Songs: So Many Jewish Songwriters!". Jewish World Review.
  4. ^ He wrote the lyrics to the Glenn Miller ballad "Sometime" from 1939, co-written with Glenn Miller and John Chummy MacGregor. Holden, Stephen (1987-02-01). "Theater; Mitchell Parish: A Way With Words". New York Times.
  5. ^ "Leroy Anderson—-American composer and conductor of light concert music: Lyrics".
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen (1987-02-01). "Theater; Mitchell Parish: A Way With Words". New York Times.
  7. ^ "Songwriters Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2012-12-31.

External linksEdit