Sunday, June 28, 2015

a song or two a day: a pea-picklin’ diary

Sunday A Week Ago
“Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” (1946) Irving Berlin for the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. (Ethel Merman!)

Because these bugs caught my eye.


First Alternate: “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” (1928) Cole Porter. (Alanis Morissette does it.)

Second Alternate: “Go Cubs Go” (1984) Steve Goodman.

Monday
“Goodbye Old Paint” (early 1900s) One Cowboy or Another.

Because there were runaway horses and a round-up on the road.


First Alternate: “Go Cubs Go”

Tuesday
“Blue Skies” (1926) Irving Berlin.

Due to an exceptional sky, exceptional breeze, exceptional all-around weather … and then I discover Whispering Jack Smith.



First Alternate: “People Get Ready” (1965) Curtis Mayfield, first recorded by The Impressions.

Second Alternate: “Go Cubs Go”

Wednesday
“Thunder and Lightening” (1972) Chi Coltrane.

Because overnight thunder and lightening over fields of flickering fireflies.

First Alternate: “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (1968) Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the Broadway musical Promises, Promises. Many have recorded it, including Chet Atkins, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, and, of course, Tok Tok Tok.

Thursday
“Abendsegen (Evening Prayer)” (1891-92) Engelbert Humperdinck from his opera Hansel und Gretel. Libretto by Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette. Sung here by Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Stade.

Because on our morning walk to the river a deer watched as Josie and I approached before leaping high, turning in mid-air, running down into the wooded gully, and then Josie leaped high and followed, and then I did not leap high but walked over to the edge of the gully and was taken aback by this dark, mysterious wood.


I did not know of the opera based on the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, and I did not know there were two Engelbert Humperdincks (that, alone, is something to think about), and I did not know these lines that, translated from German to English, begin “The Evening Prayer”:
When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep
Friday
“Alley Cat” (1962) Bent Fabric.

Because a flimsy day with no song, Marian Anderson, Nina Simone, “Amazing Grace” flitting through the mind but not sticking, and Josie wants a song about ducklings because he saw ducklings on the river, and I tell him no, what you saw were mergansers, but he insists on calling them ducks and then I say, no, mergansers, and he gets such a kick out of the word mergansers that we go back and forth and back and forth for no reason at all except giggles, and then we forget what we were talking about (oh, yeah, there were four merganserlings following their mom on the river today and Josie chased them, he on our shore and they far over by the other, but that doesn’t bring a song to mind), and then Elliott pipes up: Alley Cat. Say what? Alley Cat!

Saturday
Never Been Any Reason” 1974 Mike Somerville (Head East).

Because driving home from the farmers market it came on the radio and and I cranked it up and it stuck in my head just like it did once or twice or maybe many times 39 (or whatever) years ago.