"Embraceable You" Thread?

Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
edited May 2005 in Repertoire Posts: 795
This old age stuff gets bothersome sometimes, but I could have sworn I saw a thread on Embraceable You here while browsing over the weekend. I came back to study in more depth as this is a song I'm working on but now I can't find it. Nothing turns up in SEARCH. Am I at the wrong party?



  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    Oops, I found it, I was at the wrong party :roll:

  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    Hi Craig, what's "old age" stuff? That's the first I've heard the term. I can guess, but that's not as fun.

    I like "Embraceable You," even thought I've always found the line about "come to papa, come to papa, do!" pretty creepy.

    Did men really come on to women by saying "come to papa"?

    It's like discovering Bing Crosby had some weird fetish.

    Better is "Body and Soul," but even there the lyrics need to be updated: the second verse in particular, because nobody says "it's me you're wronging" any more, if they ever did.

    I think the second verse should go:

    My thoughts by day to you keep turning
    and all my nights I spend in endless yearning
    Won't you help me relieve it?
    I'm all for you, body and soul.

    Even with all the bumping and grinding and pole-dance posturing going on these days, "Body and Soul" is still a great tune, even if Coleman Hawkins did break decisively -- like a crack across history -- with the original melody. OK, he opened the door to bebop! We get it! I just don't want to walk through it! Is that so *WRONG*????

    I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that "Body and Soul" can be played fairly straight, lived through, and felt with complete, contemporaneous sincerity.

    While we're at it, Norah Jones proved "The Nearness of You" is still fresh. A friend of mine sings it to my chordal playing, and the young folks ask us who wrote it. "Hoagy Carmichael" gets the usual comical blank WTF???

    Diana Krall is proving some standards are still perennial, even though her choice of material isn't always spot-on, and she has some annoying mannerisms.

    The past isn't old, it's just past.

    Some things can still be played straight, for good reasons. I bet there will always be people willing to mine the past for the stuff that still shines. And that's a good thing.


    PS -- I realize I'm preaching to the choir on Django Reinhardt site. I'm just sayin'.
  • musicofanaticmusicofanatic Swingville✭✭✭
    Posts: 38
    So many fabulous "standard" tunes have been suddenly ruined fror me when I've heard a vocal version! What "Norah (Snorah) Jones proves" to me, I do not wish to print here. What I like about gypsy swing music: almost entirely instrumental (well, I do enjoy those clips of Tchavolo and Romane serenading each other!)!!
    chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp...
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    Ando, I think Craig was talking about himself, not the tune, no? As in: "Where the hell did I see that thread? I must be getting old..."
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    "Where the hell did I see that thread? I must be getting old..."


    I sent Ando a PM on the matter..... At least I think I did :roll:

    Mr. Magoo
  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    Yes, sorry about that, Craig. I got it; I've been away in rural Louisiana where there ain't no innernet. Got squirrels, though.

    Musicofanatic, I agree and disagree with you. There are so many incredibly bad vocal versions of standards out there. Really good ones are like gold.

    Sometimes the lyrics just don't rise to the standard set by the melody; sometimes they overshoot it. It's very difficult to find a good balance.

    I don't like a lot of Norah Jones's material, but her "Nearness of You" is great because it feels genuinely felt and intimate. Diana Krall is a bit of a one-trick (sex kitten) pony, but when her trick works, it works great. I've listened to more than a dozen "Peel Me A Grapes," and let me tell you, no one else's comes close.

    That said, I agree a lot of lyrics, even of the Great Standards, are underwhelming. You respond more to the music. Fine. Great, even, because not enough people appreciate music on a formal level -- hell, these days they're never even TAUGHT to because music and arts programs are usually the first to be cut ARGHHH in this country, at least.

    For a different approach to words and music, one which occurs at an extremely high artistic level IMHO, is Portuguese fado music.

    Fapy Lafertin loves it. I'm only eight CD's of listening into it (Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos Paredes, Cristina Branco, Maria Ana Bobone), but let me tell you: the lyrics are excellent poetry. In fact, many were originally published as poems and only later set to music. The musical settings can be sublime, particularly lately. I think there's a renaissance going on in Portugal right now. In the case of Custodio Castelo, Joao Paulo, and Ricardo Rocha (in the new generation of guitarists), the music is PHENOMENAL.

    Besides, I'd throw myself off a balcony to play for someone who sings like Cristina Branco.

  • AgentAgent New
    Posts: 7
    I hadn't intended to chuck my tuppence worth all over this place, but felt I had to intervene to show solidarity with someone singing the praises of fado. You're so right Ando--it's terrific stuff! Although it doesn't bother me that I don't understand the lyrics (except the bit where they sing about the "guitarra"). That's a pleasure I'm yet to discover.
  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    a lot of lyrics, even of the Great Standards, are underwhelming.

    When Billie Holliday sings "Body & Soul" the lyrics sound indisputable, like the word of God. But then, everything she sings has that quality.

    The lyrics of Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and other great song-writers of the period are generally fabulous--nothing that came after compares.
  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    LOL Yes, Billie Holiday could sing the text of a dry cleaning receipt and give it pathos. For her, glad to make exceptions.

    And just so Michael doesn't go "WTF is up with the 'Embraceable' thread?" because we haven't been talking much gypsy jazz, I'll toss this out:

    I was in a library in rural Louisiana a few weeks ago and found some sheet music of songs by Noel Coward. Evidently, from a musical called "Bitter Sweet," there is a tune called "Zigeuner." It's a valse, copyrighted 1929. The lyrics go:

    Words and Music by Noel Coward

    Once upon a time, many years ago
    Lived a fair princess, hating to confess
    Loneliness was torturing her so

    Then a gypsy came, called to her by name
    Woo'd her with a song, sensuous and strong
    All the summer long her passion seemed to tremble like a living frame

    Play to me beneath the summer moon
    Zigeuner! Zigeuner! Zigeuner!
    All I ask of life is just to listen to the songs that you sing
    My spirit like a bird on the wing
    Your melodies adoring, soaring
    Call to me with some barbaric tune
    Zigeuner! Zigeuner! Zigeuner!
    Now you hold me in your power
    Play to me for just an hour

    Bid my weeping cease, melody that brings
    Merciful release, promises of peace
    Through the gentle throbbing of the strings

    Music of the plain, music of the wild
    Come to me again, hear me not in vain
    Soothe a heart in pain, and let me to my happiness be reconciled

  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    One more thing: I've been listening to some gypsy music from Romania by a woman named Romica Puceanu. Apparently her heyday was sometime in the fifties, maybe?

    Anyway, if you want to hear a big-voiced woman, let's call her the Rosemary Clooney of Rom, and you want to hear an extraordinarily life-like imitation of a wolf howling at the moon, check her out. I'm not joking. At least a half-dozen of her songs features some sort of ululating lament that sounds *exactly* like a wolf bleeding to death on some lonely heath.

    I'm making it sound ridiculous, but it's actually kind of moving in a strange way.

    This is all to avoid turning this thread into general commiseration about "why we can't our hot club band get a chick singer as cool as the one in Paris Combo?"
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