At the next table, a waiter approached a lone diner and impassively stated "Miss Otis regrets she is unable to lunch today"
"There's your subject," announced Mr. Porter's friend. So he wrote these lyrics and this tune.
Other stories circulate as to the song's origins, some of them detailed here.
Miss Otis Regrets -- history
However it came about, it did become a hit. Demure tune... powerful lyrics. A statement about the passions of society's elite, hidden behind the strict etiquette of the wealthy of the 1930s.
Here's the song as sung by Ella Fitzgerald in 1956.
What songs grab your attention with an element of surprise?