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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Things We Did Last Summer

I'm currently semi-housebound - don't ask! - and, as so often happens in these situations, a song gets lodged in your head and you can't shift it - not that I particularly want to shift this one as it's one of the best and it didn't come from the pen of Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Berlin, Rodgers, Mercer or Carmichael. No, the music was by  Jule Styne and the words by Sammy Cahn. 

This was in 1946 and  it charted for Jo Stafford who sneaked her version out ahead of Sinatra's who, seemingly, wasn't pleased.

Instrumentally, among others, Fats Navarro, Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard, Richie Kamuka and Buddy de Franco made impressive recordings. However, I'm going to sneak into Ann Alex territory and concentrate on the lyric.

It's typical American 1940's bobbysoxer baloney but, despite that, every line paints a picture:

The boat rides we would take, the moonlight on the lake, 
The way we danced and hummed our favourite song. 
The things we did last summer, 
I'll remember all winter long.

Can't you just picture the young couple falling in love in a holiday setting?

The midway and the fun, the kewpie dolls we won, 
The bell I rang to prove that I was strong, 
The things we did etc.

All the fun of the fair, the sideshows, the shooting gallery, the macho man striking the hammer and ringing the bell to impress the girl and maybe ringing her bell. 

The early morning hike, the rented tandem bike, 
The lunches that we used to pack. 
We never could explain, that sudden summer rain,
The looks we got when we got back.

The knowing glances from their friends when they came back late, was the rain just an excuse?

However,  the season, changes...

The leaves began to fade, like promises we made,
How could a love that seemed so right go wrong?
The things we did last summer, I'll remember all winter long.

That final verse is the masterstroke. Sammy Cahn has taken us on a journey of fun and frothy frivolity and turned it into a saga of heartbreak.
Lance

2 comments :

Liz said...

It has everything you could wish for, a great fave of mine, esp the "knowing looks" bit, it always did make me smile, so subtle, not hitting you in the face such as today's lyrics, thanks Lance for putting this into my head for the rest of tonight and onwards!

Ann Alex said...

Lance, I don't mind you straying into my domain, lyrics are for everyone to enjoy and these are seemingly straightforward but with effective images. Songs are more difficult to write than people imagine, as you have to make your point quickly and not wander all over the place, unless you are a songwriter who can 'wander' but still be interesting, eg Bob Dylan. Others may not agree that Dylan was good in his own way so I hope I haven't opened a can of worms, or rather a can of words.

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