I love Cole Porter's music. Even though I can no longer hear it the way I know it should sound I keep practicing in hopes that one day I will truly enjoy the beautiful music of my youth.
Many of you know that I have a severe hearing loss and that I had a cochlear implant a few years ago. I was told that I would probably lose the sound of music. It was a difficult choice to make; hearing conversation again or continuing to enjoy music.
Music has been so much a part of my life that I had to think long and hard before making the decision. However, I was not functioning as a deaf person and I made my choice. Since that time I keep listening to music that I am familiar with. If I know the melody I can usually pick it up as I listen and then memory fills in the blanks. I am at a loss with unfamiliar melodies. I hope you will bear with me, therefore, when I drag out some very old Golden Oldies.
I will start my musical journey with four of my favorite Cole Porter melodies. You Tube did not identify the singer of Begin the Beguine but I am very sure it's Thomas Hampton. I have his CD with this song on it and I can tell that it sounds the same.
I am especially fond of Cole Porter, not only for his beautiful melodies, but for the story he tells with his lyrics. He paints a picture and in this song you can visualize the shore with the Island Band and the swaying palms. As you listen you are transported to a tropical night with a full moon and romance is in the air.
The next haunting melody is Night and Day from the movie De-Lovely.
The next song features Rachel York singing the hauntingly beautiful So In Love.
Strange dear, but true dear,
When I'm close to you, dear,
The stars fill the sky,
So in love with you am I.
Even without you,
My arms fold about you,
You know darling why,
So in love with you am I.
In love with the night mysterious,
The night when you first were there,
In love with my joy delirious,
When I knew that you could care,
So taunt me, and hurt me,
Deceive me, desert me,
I'm yours, till I die.....
So in love.... So in love....
So in love with you, my love... am I....
Cole Porter was born June 9, 1891 in Peru, Indiana to a wealthy family.
He took violin lessons, but did not like the harsh sound of the instrument and switched to the piano. He was composing songs at the age of ten.
Cole's music teacher, Dr. Abercrombe, told him "Words and music must be so inseparably wedded to each other that they are like one." This was a lesson that Cole certainly took to heart.
Cole attended Yale and wrote Fight songs that are still being sung there. To satisfy his wealthy grandfather he started Law School at Harvard, but changed to drama and the arts, writing songs for plays.
Cole spend the war years in France in the company of socialites and was very popular. Of course, now everyone knows that Cole was gay, and many of his love songs were written to men and not his wife. Love is love and these songs are beloved by sweethearts everywhere. Cole's marriage to Linda Thomas was one born of a close friendship that lasted until her death.
I will end my tribute to Cole Porter with another of my favorites. In the Still Of the Night. Popular singers sing this as a bouncy tune and I like the slow tempo of this choral group. I don't have a clue who they are.
I confess that Cole Porter's music leaves me feeling sad. I really don't know why.