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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ev'rything I've Got Belongs to You

By Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
1942

One of the catchiest tunes to ever come out of the vaunted Rodgers/Hart collaboration, this one comes from the show By Jupiter, in which it was introduced by Ray Bolger (The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz) and Benay Venuta. This was the same show that also gave us, "Wait Till You See Her."

Lyrics:

I have eyes for you to give you dirty looks.
I have words that do not come from children's books.
There's a trick with a knife I'm learning to do,
And ev'rything I've got belongs to you.

I've a powerful anesthesia in my fist,
And the perfect wrist to give your neck a twist.
There are hammerlock holds, I've mastered a few,
And ev'rything I've got belongs to you.

Share for share, share alike,
You get struck each time I strike.
You for me- me for me-
I'll give you plenty of nothing.

I'm not yours for better but for worse,
And I've learned to give the well-known witches' curse.
I've a terrible tongue, a temper for two,
And ev'rything I've got belongs to you.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Blossom Dearie
Jane Monheit
Ed Kuepper
Charlie Byrd

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Parade

By Irving Berlin
1933

By the same man who gave us the ultimate Christmas standard, Irving Berlin, came this tune--which has become the ultimate Easter standard. Originally written for the Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer, in which it was introduced by Marilyn Miller and Clifton Webb, it later gained even more notoriety thanks to being sung by Bing Crosby in the film Holiday Inn, and in 1948 an entire musical film was built around it, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. A true holiday classic from one of America's most cherished composers.

Lyrics:

In your Easter bonnet,
With all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

I'll be all in clover,
And when they look you over,
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade.

On the avenue,
Fifth Avenue.
The photographers will snap us,
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.

Oh, I could write a sonnet
About your Easter bonnet,
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter Parade.

Recorded By:

Al Jolson
Bing Crosby
Fred Astaire
Jimmy Lunceford
Perry Como

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

By Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer
1951


The formidable duo of Carmichael and Mercer teamed up to create this irresisibly jaunty tune--which won the Academy Award--for the film Here Comes the Groom. It was introduced in the movie by the two stars, the incomparable Bing Crosby and then-Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman. A fine merger of a Carmichael melody and Mercer lyric.

Lyrics:

In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Tell 'em I'll be there
In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Save your pappy a chair
When the party's getting a glow on
And singin' fills the air
In the shank of the night
When the doin's are right
Well you can tell em I'll be there

I like a barbecue
I like to boil a ham
And I vote for bola baste stew
What's that?
I like a weenie bake, steak and a layer cake
And you'll get a tummy ache too
We'll rent a tent or a teepee
Let the town crier cry
"All's well!"
And if it's RSVP
This is what I'll reply

In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Tell 'em we'll be there
If you need a pair of freeloaders
To fracture your affair
I may even give them Pagliacci
Now stand back and give him air
If one can relax and we'll have a few yaks
And you can tell them we'll be there

"Oui," said the bumblebee
"Let's have jubilee."
"When?" said the prairie hen, "Soon?"
"Sure," said the dinosaur
"Where?" said the grisly bear
"Under the light of the moon."
"How about your brother, jackass?"
Everyone gaily cried
"Are you coming to the fracas?"
Ain't gonna blow it
"And all the respects," he sighed

In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Tell 'em I'll be there
In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Stick 'em on my hair
If perchance we look a bit peeked
Remember se la guerre
If we're still on our feet
And there's something to eat
Well you can tell them we'll be there

In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Tell 'em I'll be there
In the cool, cool, cool of the evening
Better save a chair
When the party's getting a glow on
And singin' fills the air
If there's gas in my hack
and my laundry is back
If there's room for one more
And you need me
Why sure
If you need a new face or a tenor or base
If I can climb out of bed and put a head on my head
Well you can tell 'em we'll be there.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Bette Midler
Dean Martin
Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford
Ray Conniff

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Think of You

By Jack Elliott, Don Marcotte & Sergei Rachmaninoff
1941


Inspired by the gorgeous melody from the first movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, this tune was adapted by Elliott, with lyrics added by Marcotte. Tommy Dorsey's orchestra introduced it with a young Frank Sinatra on vocals, and Frank would later revisit the song on his 1957 album Where Are You? One of the finest examples of a classical piece being adapted into a pop song, with Rachmaninoff's lush original melody blending perfectly with the heartbreaking Marcotte lyrics.

Lyrics:

In the hush of evening,
As shadows steal across my lonely room,
I think of you,
I think of you.

From afar the music
Of violins come softly through the gloom.
All I can do,
Is think of you.

Oh, I can see you standing there before me.
And I can hear you whisper,
"You adore me."

So when dusk is falling,
I live again the loveliness we knew.
I think of you,
I think of you.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Mildred Bailey
Jane Powell
Tierney Sutton
Johnny Desmond

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Romance

By Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
1935

A stirringly beautiful ballad by the incomparable Rodgers & Hart team, this one came from Jumbo, the very same show that also gave us "Little Girl Blue" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World." It was performed in the 1962 film version of the show by the one and only Doris Day, and also used in a memorable commercial for the Ralph Lauren fragrance, Romance. It has also come to be closely associated with theater organs of the kind traditionally seen in old-school movie palaces.

Lyrics:


My romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky.
My romance doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by.

No month of may, no twinkling stars.
No hide away, no softly guitars.

My romance doesn't need a castle rising in Spain.
Nor a dance to a constantly surprising refrain.

Wide awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true.
My romance doesn't need a thing but you.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Mel Torme

Rosemary Clooney
Art Blakey

Listen to Martini in the Morning

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