“Love Came to Me” was written by Dion DiMucci and John Falbo. Dion, as he was better known, also performed the song in 1962, along with the Del-Satins, I believe. I have a difficult time keeping his backing bands straight. Most of the songs I write about in this series are usually slower, but this one has some fun pep to it. I think it may also be about the only positive song Dion sang. It seems that poor guy was always getting jilted or just plain not chosen. This song though, speaks to finally finding love (“this time for real,” he sings) and the indelible feeling that brings, “now, love makes me, makes me feel so good, just like I, I dreamed it would.”
But you may never forgive me for the terrible title pun.
Since there are many holidays this time of the year (29 from November through most of January for various major religions!), I’d like to say, whatever you celebrate (even if it’s just Festivus) I hope your holiday and season is filled with love, good people, good times, and peace.
Now I will breach a subject that may be touchy, I hope we can have a respectful and mature discussion about it . . .
In 1950, “To Think You’ve Chosen Me” was written by Bennie Benjamin and George Weiss. The lyrics send a wave of glowing warmth over me when I listen. From sending “those shivers through my fingertips” to “and haunts me darling even while you’re gone,” it speaks as a love lullaby. It is soothing and comforting in its music and lyrics. It creates a space where anything seems possible, where true love exists and may just conquer all.
“La Vie En Rose” was written in 1945 by Edith Piaf, Louis Guglielmi, and Marguerite Monnot. First, I’ll start off by saying that though I don’t know French, Edit Piaf’s singing gets me. . .right. . .there. While she had a tumultuous life, she could use every experience and emotion she lived through to inject into her music, lyrics wise and vocally. When she sings, you feel it, whether you know the exact words she is singing or not. She wrote the lyrics to some brilliant songs, “La Vie En Rose” being one of the best. And while I can only go off of the translated version, I can’t really offer a more beautiful and enchanting song about love.
“Long Ago and Far Away,” written in 1944 by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin for the movie Cover Girl, is a beautiful and evocative song. Performed in the movie, which in itself is sublime, by Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth (dubbed by Martha Mears), it invokes such sweet longing finally realized. Even if it’s not Rita Hayworth actually singing it, the sight of she and Gene Kelly on screen together during this song is an enchantment the viewer doesn’t want to miss.
“Time After Time” was written in 1947 by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, and introduced in the movie It Happened in Brooklyn by Frank Sinatra and later, Kathryn Grayson.
Oh, this song! I don’t think I can even do it the justice it deserves, but I will give it a tolerable attempt. Listening to this song, and letting it engulf me, brings the feeling as if I could crumble and be swept away on the wind. It’s the ultimate in piercing straight to my unapologetic, sentimentally plagued soul.
In 1956, Chet Baker recorded a version that intensifies this already divine song. It is soft, warm, and lingering, with so much coming from the heart. His vocals glide along with the music, to craft an unmistakable, not only sound, but impression upon the heart. It’s incredibly easy to lose oneself and entwine oneself with the music and the quality it possesses.
“It’s Not For Me To Say” was written in 1957 by Robert Allen and Al Stillman for the movie Lizzie. It was originally performed, and is mostly associated with Johnny Mathis. He had the most successful version of the song, but Bing Crosby’s version is by far my most beloved. Oh, the response this invokes in me! It’s such a beautiful song, with lyrics such as:
As far as I can see, this is heaven
And speaking just for me, it’s ours to share
Perhaps the glow of love will grow
With every passing day
Or we may never meet again
But then it’s not for me to say
I decided to do a series of posts about certain songs that . . . just do something to my insides. I don’t know if I can adequately put into words the feeling I’m given by these songs, but I’m going to do my best. Music is an important part of my life, and can generate such an array of emotions and there are so many musicians and songs that I love. These songs, though, are the ones that make my soul flourish. They cause an internal and beyond reaction, a sensation that makes my heart well-up and about burst. It’s an agreeable feeling, mixed with an ache, but one that I know will be soothed. . .some day. If you reference back to my post, Please Step On My Toes, you’ll get a bit of an understanding of the context of these songs for me. I have a play list of these songs, and I’ll go through them one by one, in no particular order.
First up, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh in 1928. Like most older songs, there are quite a few covers and versions. The one that gets me right in the essence of my being is from 1947 from Django Reinhardt with Freddie Taylor on vocals. For anyone who may not know Django Reinhardt, he was a French guitarist most prominent in the 1930s and 1940s.
The whirr of the turntable, the gentle scratch of the needle as it touches down on vinyl, and the delicious music that pours forth with the subtle balance of pops and crackles. To some, this is the only way to listen to music. While I do have my iPod (mostly for my car, but maybe I should look into one of those car record players they had in the 70s), vinyl is my preferred way to hear my favorite artists.
I don’t like to play the “favorite” game, it’s so difficult to choose one thing to be my favorite. However, when people ask who my favorite musical artist is, the first response seems to come quite easily: Otis Redding. (I have such eclectic taste in music, I usually ramble off an extensive list of artists following Otis. You know, because I have trouble picking just one.) Otis Redding does something for . . . to me. I can’t quite explain it fully, but here’s an attempt.
Anyone who has read this blog can clearly tell vinyls are a big part of my love of nostalgia, see header photo, and I have used my records as “preparation soundtracks” for (hopefully) edible posts. I’ve been somewhat hesitant to write solely about vinyls, mostly because I have so many I want to feature and it’s hard to choose where to start. Plus, I want to, in fact, write about most of them. (And plan to as I go along.) The choice was made much easier with the more recent discovery of two records at a local record store. (I’ve had a 45 of “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag/Direct Me” by Otis for a while, but some how skewed my ability of being satisfied with owning an actual, full record of his.) The first record I found of his (the same day I found the two) was completely out of my price range. I was disheartened and a bit glum leaving that record store, having seen my first Otis vinyl in person, able to place my hands on it yet being forced to leave it behind while it taunted me with its exuberant price tag. The next record store (which was a heavenly delight even if it hadn’t had Otis) re-energized my spirits. In fact, I placed my hands on Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul and Pain In My Heart and instantly had heart palpitations, tears took up residence in the corners of my eyes, and of course, I swooned. I thought I was dreaming. . .perhaps the victim of a practical joke, but no. They were real. And they were mine.