What Valentine’s Day would be complete without a hot-house rose, love letter words, a silver moon, dancing to ‘just one of those things’ and a table for two? How about a sight-seeing tour, dinner by candlelight at The Siding? The side-car setting is wonderful and—between you and me—the only place to eat in Peru, Ind., birthplace and early home to Cole Porter, one of the most famous, most prolific American composers, whose romantic lyrics are so easy to love.

What a priceless pleasure, what a charming afternoon and weekend affair with your Valentine: a stay in Porter’s recently restored childhood home, now including the Cole Porter Suite, the Anything Goes Suite and the Night and Day Suite.

Kate the Great, Porter’s mother and true love, encouraged her son’s extraordinary musical talent— unlike his maternal grandfather, J.O. Cole, a curmudgeon and millionaire, who, for no rhyme or reason, mercilessly badgered his grandson to study law. I know it’s not meant for me, countered the young prodigy and from this moment on, it was written in the stars that he would get out of town. At the age of 10, a defiant Cole wrote on his bedroom wall, I don’t want to be a lawyer!

At Worcester Academy, Porter was the only student with a piano in his room. At Yale, he served as president of the Yale Glee Club and was an original member of the Whiffenpoofs. Realizing that opportunity knocks but once and vowing to follow every fancy, he got away from it all in Paris. Here he met—and to the surprise of all—said, “I do,” marrying the wealthy and beautiful Linda Lee Thomas, a Kentucky-born divorcée several years his senior. The marriage of this closeted homosexual genius and the sophisticated, well-connected Linda was as complex, loving and ultimately as enduring as the composer’s incomparable music.

Although it may not be a destination or a big town, a visit to Peru and Cole Porter’s birthplace—like another sentimental song—will have your Valentine sweetie saying, Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.

Cole Porter composed both the melodies and lyrics to almost 1,000 songs. I’ve included 33 titles within the text of this article, in the order in which they appear. If you can identify 25, you’re sensational. If you find 30, you’re the top. Oops…that makes 35 titles!


What Is This Thing Called Love?

Is It The Girl?

Why Marry Them?

Hot-House Rose

Love Letter Words

Silver Moon

Just One Of Those Things

A Table For Two

A Sight-Seeing Tour

By Candlelight

The Side Car

Between You And Me

Easy To Love

What A Priceless Pleasure

What A Charming Afternoon

A Weekend Affair

Anything Goes

Night And Day

Kate The Great

True Love

For No Rhyme Or Reason

I Know It's Not Meant For Me

From This Moment On

It Was Written In The Stars

Get Out Of Town

Opportunity Knocks But Once

To Follow Every Fancy

Away From It All

I Do

Big Town

Another Sentimental Song

Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love


You're Sensational

You're The Top