Monday, April 02, 2007

Tuning into Romance

Jerry Jazz Musician posted the question, "What are four or five of the the most romantic tunes ever recorded? " and received the following responses. Bill Bruford, an always interesting kind of guy, answered with the following, crossing over a few musical barriers.

"Maybe romance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, if you get my drift. It's such a personal thing. All that saying goodbye, all that rushing to be in the arms of the one you love, all that wishful thinking, dreaming, hoping. I like Carole's romantic insecurity and need to know the answer to her question ( Carole King "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?). Every time Ella says goodbye, I die a little, too ( Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Ella Fitzgerald ). When Whitney opens her throat and tells me she will always love me, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. ( Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You). Unbearably romantic also is Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" from West Side Story, although my favourite version of that is the lyric-less Cannonball Adderley club recording that I once heard. The lovesick Sinead O'Connor singing to her incomparable lover in Prince's song is hard to beat, too. ( Sinead O'Connor: Nothing Compares 2 U)."

Jerry Jazz Musician didn't ask me, but I'll attach myself to his jet stream and provide my choices, in no particular order. The only requirement I'm assuming for these choices is that they either create or help maintain the mood when your own words or actions are running counter to your intent. Some of the songs are also mentioned by the musicians in this entry.

1) John Coltrane's Naima, whether rendered by the genius himself, or the version by Cedar Walton.
2) Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time as done by Cassandra Wilson.
3) Greg Brown's You Drive Me Crazy, because a true romance lasts a long, long time, regardless of its confounding foibles and cracks.
4) Louis Armstrong's and Oscar Peterson's perfect rendition of You go to My Head.
5) Bill Evans' version of Porgy (I Love You, Porgy)... although Bill Charlap's version of One For My Baby would not be a lesser substitute.

So, what say ye? Any musical genre will do.

Just off the top of my head, I'd be inclined to list Everything But The Girl's acoustic cover of Springsteen's "Tougher Than The Rest", and Billy Bragg: "The Saturday Boy". Now be quiet, I'm trying to think.
Mr. Sgazzetti,
That's the second time that you've commented about one of the musical entries and mentioned Saturday Boy by Mr. Bragg.

"....We dreamed of her and compared our dreams
But that was all that I ever tasted
She lied to me with her body, you see.
I lied to myself 'bout the chances I'd wasted...

Hmmm. This song certainly has had a long term effect on you.

Enough about that; please continue!
I'd have to name, also for a second time in nearly as many comments, Yesterdays, by Mr. Charles Musselwhite as my #1 favorite, for personal reasons (plus it's a really good piece of music). Or just pick any Billie Holiday song...April in Paris will do. Or (you asked for it) Baby I'm-a Want You, by Bread. Don't laugh. Okay, seriously? Hunk-a Hunk-a Burnin' Love, by Elvis. No? Well, how about The Theme from Love Story performed by Placido Domingo? That's my final answer.

Cindy Lauper?!
Okay, got mine:

5) Nat King Cole, singing "These Foolish Things". Love the way he swings the band on this song, like a guy who's delirious over this girl who left "cigarettes with lipstick traces".

4) Tom Waits, "Time". "Napoleon is weeping / in his carnival saloon / his invisible fiance is in the mirror" On a rational level, the lyrics only sorta make sense; on an emotional level they make all the sense in the world.

3) "He'll Have To Go" - I'm partial to Ry Cooder and Flaco Jimenez's rendition on Chicken Skin Music.

2) Nat King Cole, "The More I See You" - my wife's favourite, and I won't argue with that. "My arms won't free you / my heart won't try"

1) U2 - "All I Want Is You". Aw, save yer razzberries - I'm sick of 'em, too. But I picked up a guitar and sang this to my wife at our wedding, 13 years ago this week. It was romantic then, it's romantic now.
OK, I'll tell you before I decide not to, again:

The Song of Solomon, sang by Timna Brauer always makes me ... go week... and stuff.

Then, there is One by U2, and Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor, which I think were appropriate when I was still young. :-)- I name them only because they are saved under the label Romantic in my head.
Gwynne, Yes, Cyndi Lauper! Besides being a hoot when she was younger, she's matured into quite the chanteuse. Her 2003 release At Last is a gem...and guaranteed to melt the cold heart of any un-romantic. Her penned song, "Time after Time", is, IMHO, a classic. And Cassandra Wilson's rendition without a fault.

WP, You are an old soul, aren't you? You probably put on the Nat King Cole, take your lovely spouse in your arms, and whirl around the living room (hopefully not bumping into that Jetson Sofa). Your daughters probably are watching, sighing, and thinking, "When will my prince come to sweep me off my feet?!" You're a poster man for Ideal Husband/Father of the Decade, I'd say, based on your choices.
"He'll have to Go" seems an odd choice for a Romantic song, as it involves a third party; perhaps a prelude to a romantic tune?
No razzberries from me re. the U2 song. Anyone willing to warble a song in front of people at a life-changing event only has my admiration. Romance and Cojones; yes they go well together.

Alcessa, not familiar with Timna Brauer or her weak 'n stuff delivery. Will have to check that out.
5. At Last - Etta James
4. Till There Was Ypu - Beatles
3. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman - Bryan Adams
2. When We Dance - Sting
1. The Twelfth of Never - Johnny Mathis

At least this evening, those are my picks *smile*


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