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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

You're the Top

The Library of Congress adds 25 new original sound recordings every year to its library. This year they range from the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction to two episodes of the TV show of the Lone Ranger to the National Defence Test, Sam Cooke, the Velvet Underground, FDR, Pete Seeger, Allen Ginsberg's Howl. If you want to take a look at the complete list, here's a link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070306/ap_en_ot/sound_archive

What struck me, though, was Cole Porter's You're the Top. Now I love dance movies, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Cole Porter. I sing this song a lot - and in fact, I'm playing it right now.

Cole Porter had that whole dance rhythm thing going on. You can't help but want to dance when you hear one of his songs - no wonder Fred Astaire loved to dance to his music. And his lyrics are not just sing-able (is that a word?) but are also beautiful and funny - here's part of You're the Top:

You're the top!
You're the Coliseum.
You're the top! You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!

This sounds light and airy, but think about it for a minute. The woman is perfect - he just keeps heaping superlatives on her - classic ones, modern ones, funny ones. But when he begins to describe himself - and the reasons he's not worthy - he's right down to earth.

And then there's one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, Night and Day:

Night and day you are the one
only you beneath the moon or under the sun
whether near to me or far it's no matter darling
where you are
I think of you
day and night, night and day
why is it so that this longing for you follows whereever I go
in the roaring traffic's boom,
in the silence of my lonely room
I think of you
night and day, day and night
under the hide of me ,
there's an oh such a hungry yearning burning
inside of me
and this torment won't be through
till you let me spend my life making love to you
day and night, night and day

So Cole Porter, congratulations to you - you deserve to be there. And I know I'll be singing one of these songs for the next three or four days. I'll be walking down the street tomorrow morning on my way to work, in the rain, umbrella over my head, and singing Night and Day or You're the Top and I won't even worry about people staring at me while I'm doing it. In fact, I'm looking forward to it because they'll know I have very good taste in music...


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