Saturday, July 24, 2010

Music, Music, Music

Recently a very exciting thing happened to me. I received an unexpected e-mail from a relative that I had never met. Her name is Judy and she is the middle one of three daughters of my only first cousin on my mother's side. My cousin, her father, was my playtime companion until he moved away when we were ten years old. Up until then we were both 'only children' and were only two months apart in age. We got in trouble together, had fun together and had an occasional spat as children are won't to do. He remembers things I had forgotten and vice-versa.

My cousin had
frequently talked about me to his daughter, relating stories of our childhood. Judy finally asked for my last name and, with that information, found me on the Internet. Since that time we have been in a flurry of e-mails back and forth. As she so aptly put it, we are in a marathon.

We have been filling in the blanks for each other. It has really sent me down memory lane remembering so much that I had thought forgotten forever. Because music is so much a part of my memories I am, therefore, continuing with some of my favorite songs and artists. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The first one is My Funny Valentine by Rodgers and Hart. The song has been recorded by just about every singer on the planet, but I think
Ella Fitzgerald's recording is the best and that is the one I have embedded.

My funny valentine, sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable
But you're my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek ?
Is your mouth a little weak ?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart ?
Don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine's Day

Another favorite of mine is The Shadow Of Your Smile and I have chosen Tony Bennett's rendition. This is the theme from the movie, The Sandpiper and was written by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Paul Webster.

The next song, Misty, is very versatile. It can be played in many tempos. I used to play it as a jazz solo and, for variety I would often play it with a South American beat. For easy listening you can't beat the mellow voice of Johnny Mathis and I have chosen his recording for your listening pleasure. Music by Erroll Garner and lyrics by Johnny Burke.

Misty lyrics

Look at me
I'm an helpless as a kitten up a tree
and I feel like I'm clinging to a cloud
I can't understand
I get misty
just holding your hand

Walk my way
and a thousand violins begin to play
or it might be the sound of your hello
that music I hear
I get misty
the moment you're near

You can say
that you're leading me on
But it's just what I want you to do
don't you notice how hopelessly I'm lost
that's why I'm following you

On my own
would I wander through this wonderland alone
never knowing my right foot from my left
my hat from my glove
I'm too misty and too much in love
Last, but not least, is an oldie you may remember, More, the theme song from the movie Mondo Cane as sung by Nat King Cole. This song dates from 1956 and I could not find a recent recording. Judy Garland hated this song, but her recording is probably the best. However, I went with Nat because I love his voice. It was written by Riz Ortolani.

More than the greatest love the world has known
this is the love I give to you alone
more than the simple words I've tried to say
I only live to love you more each day,
more than you'll ever known my arms long to hold you so my life
will be in you keeping, waking, sleeping, laughing, leaping,
longer than always is a long long time
but far beyond forever you are going to be mine
I know I've never lived before and my heart is very sure
no one else can love you more.
It constantly amazes me how such a variety of melodies can come from twelve notes. I guess that's why they claim that studying music helps with your mathematics.


Rummuser said...

Last year, a similar thing happened to me too. One of my cousins from the paternal side, had moved to Mumbai and her son somehow found out where we were and established contact by email and subsequently came over to visit with his mother. It was an amazing reunion for me as I had not seen her in decades. It is always nice when relatives take such pains to locate and establish contact. Once again, all the songs in that list, are songs that I used to listen to and even sing! If you had been a man, or I a woman, we would have been doppelgangers!

Darlene said...

*Rummuser - If we were doppelgangers one of us would have to be dead. I don't think that either of us want that just yet. ;-)

Joy Des Jardins said...

These are all so great Darlene...Ella, Tony...but I have to say Johnny Mathis does it for me. His voice is like soft velvet and reminds me of my days in high school. I saw him in person some years later as an adult, and he was magnificent. ~Joy

Darlene said...

*Joy Des Jardins - I agree with you about Johnny Mathis. It was tempting to use him on other videos, too. Lucky you to have seen him in person.

la peregrina said...

The first time I ever heard My Funny Valentine was when I played my new "The Surpremes Sing Rogers and Hart" album. It took a lot of baby sitting jobs before I had enough money for it. Of course nobody comes close to Ella. :)

Lydia said...

I'm so happy for you and Judy to be in communication this way. Finding and getting to know relatives is a truly exciting thing!

When I was a little girl I adored The Lennon Sisters, and the first time I ever heard My Funny Valentine was when they sang it. ...

"It constantly amazes me how such a variety of melodies can come from twelve notes." My husband and I were discussing that point just nights ago!

20th Century Woman said...

How wonderful to find a new family member who cares about family and memories.

Darlene said...

*la peregrina - When I listened to different versions of these songs Ella always sang every one better.

*Lydia - Did you and your husband come to any conclusions? I wonder how many combinations are possible mathematically? Any math whizzes out there?

*20th Century Woman - Yes, it is wonderful and we are in contact daily.

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene, how wonderful to have a relative contact you. I have had several experiences like this in the past.
When I started my journal and wrote about my great grandmother - a second cousin contacted me with some information I did not know.
Filled in some blanks about my mother and grandmother. Stories I can pass on to my grandchildren.
I love these songs!!

Rain said...

That being able to connect so unexpectedly with someone from the past is one of the coolest things about the Internet-- of course, sometimes not so cool too. Your experience sounds great.

Darlene said...

*One Woman's Journey - Yes, it was wonderful. When I was a child I had a large extended family and now it is so small that a new relative to write to is exciting.

*Rain - It was cool, but I can see the danger of an unwelcome person being able to find you so easily.