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Bebop Spoken There

Kasia Delgado: "The naughtiest thing that I did at school was bunk off a maths lesson to practice my saxophone for a jazz band." - (i newspaper October 21, 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1254 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 23).

From This Moment On ...

October

Mon 25: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 28: J Frisco @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 28: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.

Sun 31 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon..
Sun 31: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 31: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Jam session..
Sun 31: Alison Rayner Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Love For Sale: A Superb Song

(By Ann Alex)
This is the latest in the series of looking at jazz songs in detail.  So far I’ve discussed Crazy Rhythm and No Moon At All, both light-hearted songs of music and love, but Love For Sale is quite different as it deals with a controversial subject which is currently newsworthy.  Jeremy Corbyn has been talking about legalising prostitution recently and the issue nowadays is tied up with our perceptions of child abuse and people trafficking.  I believe that Cole Porter made an important contribution to the debate with this song.
The song appeared in the musical New Yorkers in 1930, sung by Kathryn Crawford, a white woman, who portrayed a street-walker.  It attracted lots of criticism, was banned from the radio, but proved very popular.  You can’t keep a good song down, especially if it’s written by such a talented writer.  Because of the criticism, Elisabeth Welch, a black African American woman, took over the singing of this song. Readers will be able to work out the implications of that for themselves.
Here is the full text, including the verse:

When the only sound on the empty street
Is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
That belong to a lonesome cop
I open shop
The moon so long has been gazing down
On the wayward ways of this wayward town
Her smile becomes a smirk
I go to work

Love for sale
Appetizing young love for sale
Love that’s fresh and still unspoiled
Love that’s only slightly soiled
Love for sale

Who will buy
Who would like to sample my supply?
Who’s prepared to pay the price
For a trip to Paradise?
Love for sale

Let the poets pipe of love
In their childish ways
I know every type of love
Better far than they
If you want the thrill of love
I’ve been through the mill of love
Old Love
New Love
Every love but true love

Love for sale
Appetizing young love for sale
If you want to buy my wares
Follow me and climb the stairs
Love for sale
The verse evokes the atmosphere of a sleazy town really well, we feel the walking rhythm of the cop, and the short lines such as ‘I go to work’ leave us is no doubt about her type of work.  The chorus begins with what would be a street cry, if she was selling flowers.  I say ‘she’ and I think Porter meant the song to be sung by a woman, but actually it could be done by a man, as there are of course male prostitutes.  (That would be a challenge for a male singer!) The song suggests a young woman, which I think adds to the poignancy, a young life spoilt, but maybe she’s lying about her age?
I don’t think there’s any doubt that Porter was on the side of the prostitute, (‘I’ve been through the mill of love’), and in fact I’d go so far as to say that this is a protest song of the first order. ‘For a trip to Paradise’ is highly ironic of course, as the ‘price’ is so high, both in money and other risks. The constant repetition of ‘love for sale’ ensures that we don’t forget the point of the song.  And the line ‘Every love but true love’ must surely be one of the saddest lines in any song in the Gasbook.
The best version of the song I’ve heard is undoubtedly Billie Holiday’s.
The rhymes and repetitions work well and don’t require much explanation.  I’d love to read other people’s views on this song, especially about the actual tune.  I’ve never studied composition, and I’m sure instrumentalists could add useful insights.
Ann Alex

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