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Friday, February 25, 2011

Baubles, Bangles and Beads

By Robert Wright & George Forrest
1953

A beguiling song written for the musical Kismet, and based--as with all the songs in that show--on a melody by classical composer Alexander Borodin. In this case, it's Borodin's String Quartet in D (second theme of the 2nd movement). Originally written as a waltz, pop artists have changed the structure to a more rhythmic four-beat one. Jazz artists are particularly drawn to it for its unique melody.

Lyrics:

Baubles, bangles,
Hear how they jing, jing-a-ling-a,
Baubles, bangles, bright, shiny beads.

Sparkles, spangles,
My heart will sing, sing-a-ling-a,
Wearing baubles, bangles and beads.

I'll glitter and gleam so,
Make somebody dream so,

That someday he may buy me,
A ring, ring-aling-a,
I've heard that's where it leads,
Wearing baubles and bangles and beads.

Recorded By:

Peggy Lee
Frank Sinatra
Julie Andrews
June Christy
Deodato

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Funny Valentine

By Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
1937

One of the absolutely timeless Rodgers & Hart compositions, and a perfect example of how the best old standards expressed true, honest emotion without resorting to trite cliche. It was written for the show Babes in Arms, and introduced on stage by Mitzi Green. Accompanied by a lush and thoughtful Rodgers melody, Hart's lyric recounts a love for an individual who may not be perfect, but has captured the author's heart nevertheless. What a difference from contemporary culture's stress on perfection--and a perfect sentiment to keep in mind this Valentine's Day as you spend time with your own funny Valentine...

Lyrics:

My funny Valentine,
Sweet comic Valentine,
You make me smile with my heart.
Your looks are laughable,
Unphotographable,
Yet you're my favorite work of art.

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak,
Are you smart?

But don't change a hair for me,
Not if you care for me,
Stay, little Valentine, stay...
Each day is Valentine's Day.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Chet Baker
Sarah Vaughan
Bobby Darrin
Miles Davis

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