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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Silver Bells

By Jay Livingston & Ray Evans

A warm, fuzzy Christmas classic of the post-war era, this charming chestnut was composed for the film The Lemon Drop Kid, in which it was introduced by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. A major hit recording by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards released before the film was so successful it caused the film producers to re-shoot the scene more elaborately prior to the release of the movie. Conflicting reports indicate that the inspiration for the song came either from the bell-ringing Salvation Army Santas on NYC streetcorners, or a bell that was kept on Livingston and Evans' shared office desk. Incidentally, the songwriting team of Livingston & Evans were also responsible for such post-war classics as "To Each His Own" and "Mona Lisa".


Silver bells silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring a ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

City sidewalks busy sidewalks .
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you'll hear...

Silver bells silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring a ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures
Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear...

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

Recorded By:

Perry Como
Dean Martin
Frank Sinatra
Martina McBride
Andy Williams

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Way

By Claude Francois, Jacques Revaux & Paul Anka

Although Frank himself never considered it one of his best, we celebrate his birthday today with what is undoubtedly one of his signature records, and a song that is second only to Lennon & McCartney's "Yesterday" as the most recorded of all time. Originally a French tune by Francois and Revaux, the young Anka heard it and decided to repurpose it for an aging, disillusioned Chairman, who had all but decided to quit the business. Anka slightly altered the melody and gave it English lyrics, and presented it as a gift to Frank, whose recording would result in one the legendary singer's most massive hits. It may not be Porter, Gershwin or Mercer, but it's undeniably Frank, and a song that kept him relevant in the Beatles era. It's been attempted by everyone from Elvis to Sid Vicious, but no one made it his own to the degree that Sinatra did. For whom could those lyrics ever be more true?

Happy Birthday, Francis Albert!


And now, the end is nearAnd so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do , I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
And through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
The right to say the things he feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

Recorded By: 

Nina Simone
Elvis Presley
Sid Vicious
Gipsy Kings
Andy Williams
Gonzo the Great
Shirley Bassey
Tom Jones
Andrea Bocelli
Patti Lupone

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