Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What I'm working on.

This week we heard Dianne Reeves at our jazz series. One of the songs she sang was one that Cy Coleman wrote, with lyrics by Peggy Lee, "I'm in Love Again." (You can here Reeves sing it here.)

It's the kind of song that is called a "standard," or if it's not, it's exactly like the kind of song they call a standard--a beautiful melody set against an unpredictable chord progression, but usually with a very conventional song structure--verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, etc. The beauty of the lyrics is in how they're delivered and not necessarily just in the words themselves. For instance, I give you this:

I’m in love again
And the feeling’s not new
Yes I know the signs
And I know what to do

It’s a highway
that I have traveled through before
So I know all the curves
and I’ve come back for more

I’m alive again
I can wake up and sing
Nothing bores me now
I enjoy everything

Here I go again
The way that I always do
Cause I’m in love again,
All over again, with you

Not so amazing, right? But that third stanza: "Nothing bores me now/ I enjoy everything"--which sounds utterly prosaic--when Dianne Reeves sang it, she broke in between "enjoy" and "everything," which made everything sound like a revelation.

Well, all that? and these facts--that Peggy Lee came from North Dakota, and her name was Norma Dolores Egstrom; her home was a violent one, and she started her career as a singer when she was just a teenager; that she wrote lots of music and in some ways shaped the delivery of more than a generation of female singers--and something something about how amazing Dianne Reeves is--all of that will be a poem, maybe. Right now, it's called "Everything." Or maybe "--everything." Don't hold your breath, though. It might take awhile.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved watching and listening to her when Abbey and I saw her at the jazz festival.



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