Thursday, April 10, 2014


Good Morning, Class of '64
Orchestra and Conductor - Sera Knight
Music, In A Foreign Language 
Andrew Crumey

In a cafe, once more I heard
Your voice - those sparse and frugal notes.
Do they not say that you spoke your native Greek
With an English accent?

Briefest of visions: eyes meet across the cafe;
A man of about my age - eyelids heavy,
Perhaps from recent pleasures.
begin the most innocent of conversations.

Again I see that image;
Ancient delight of flesh
Against guiltless flesh.
Sweeter still, in its remembering.

Most innocent of conversations: once more, I am mistaken.
He leaves; the moment lost - and to forego
The squalor of this place, I read again your lines; those sparse and frugal notes.
In a taverna, you found beauty, long ago.

And when you draw, with your slim, swift pen
The image of that memory - time's patient hostage;
Then how can I forget him, that boy whom you could not forget,
Or that music, in a foreign language?

 Foreign Songs

Throughout our school years music was a huge part of our lives. The origin of some of the songs we loved were not always here in America. Do you remember trying to sing the words to those wonderful foreign songs that you had no idea of their meaning?
Maybe "Dominique" was as far as you could go with The Singing Nun. Could you master any of Sukiyaki, at all? 

The Italian songs seemed to be less difficult. "Volare, oh, oh, oh oh", nothing hard about that. "Al di la, ci sei tu per me" was short and simple enough to roll off the tongue with ease. 

And all you had to do was hum to Perfidia

Anyway, they were all beautiful. How fortunate we were that DJs in those big cities far away from the mountains chose to give them a spin so we could give them a listen.

Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, 
a question of Fuel. 
 Sentimental people call it Inspiration, 
but what they really mean is Fuel. 
I have always needed Fuel. 
I am a serious consumer. 
On some nights I still believe that a car 
with the gas needle on empty can run 
about fifty more miles if you have 
the right music very loud on the radio.
 Hunter S. Thompson

At the Piano - Childe Hassam - 1908

Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu 
(to fly)
Recorded by Italian singer-songwriter
Domenico Modugno.
 Released as a single in February, 1958.
Won the 8th Sanremo Music Festival
Chosen as the Italian entry to the
Eurovision Song Contest in 1958,
where it won third place.
Combined sales of all the versions
exceed 22 million copies worldwide,
It spent five non-consecutive weeks
atop the Billboard Hot 100
in August and September 1958
and was Billboard's number-one single for the year. Modugno's recording subsequently became
the first Grammy winner for
Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1958.
The first foreign language single
to hit no. 1 in the rock era,
and according to Billboard,
was the biggest hit of 1958. 

Bobby Rydell
(The Perry Como Show - Oct 12, 1960) 

Sometimes the world is a valley
of heartaches and tears,
And in the hustle and bustle,
no sunshine appears,
But you and I have our love
always there to remind us
There is a way we can leave
all the shadows behind us.

Volare, oh, oh!
Cantare, oh, oh, oh, oh!
Let's fly way up in the clouds
Away from the maddening crowds
We can sing in the glow
of a star that I know of
Where lovers enjoy peace of mind
Let us leave the confusion
and all disillusion behind
Just like birds of a feather,
a rainbow together we'll find

Volare, oh, oh!
Cantare, oh, oh, oh, oh!
No wonder my happy heart sings
Your love has given me wings
Your love has given me wings
Your love has given me wings

Beethoven tells you what it's 
like to be Beethoven and 
Mozart tells you what it's 
like to be human. 
Bach tells you what it's 
like to be the universe.
Douglas Adams

(Intrigued by this quote, 
but not familiar enough with 
classical music to understand 
the meaning. Anybody?) 

Woman in Red Room at Piano - Mary Ferris Kelly

Al di la
From the film "Rome Adventure" starring
Susanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue.
The song was winner of the 
1961 Sanremo Festival, 
and then became Italy's entry to the 
Eurovision Song Contest 1961. 
It became an international hit 
with a cover version by Connie Francis.
Connie Francis - 1962

La la la la la...
Al di la del bene
Piщ prezioso, ci sei tu
Al di la del sogno
Piщ ambizioso, ci sei tu
Al di la delle cose piщ belle
Al di la delle stelle, ci sei tu
Al di la, ci sei tu per me
Per me, soltanto per me
Al di la means you are
Far above me, very far
Every star will light
The way above me
To where you are
Just to measure your worth
I'd move heaven and earth
To be near you
You're my life
You're my love
You're my own al di la
 La la la la la...

Al di la della volta infinita
Al di la della vita, ci sei tu
Al di la ci sei tu per me
La la la la la...
Al di la

Rome Adventure - 1962
Troy Donahue and Susanne Pleshette

 Music produces a kind of pleasure 
which human nature cannot do without.
Confucius, The Book of Rites

Woman by Window - Edith Gert

Ue O Muite Aruko
(I look up when I walk.)
Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto
 went to no. 1 in 1963. 
So far, this is the only song by a 
Japanese singer to hit no. 1 in the U.S. 
The title Sukiyaki, a Japanese hot pot dish, 
has nothing to do with the lyrics or 
the meaning of the song; 
the word served the purpose 
only because it was short, catchy, 
recognizably Japanese, and more familiar 
to most English speakers. 
A Newsweek columnist noted that 
the re-titling was like issuing "Moon River" 
in Japan under the title "Beef Stew."
The Japanese title is "Ue O Muite Aruko", 
which means "I look up when I walk."
The title remained "Sukiyaki" even though

 it had nothing to do with the song. 
Kyu Sakamoto - 1963
(English Translation and Lyrics)

My heart, 
which is so full to overflowing, 
has often been solaced and 
refreshed by music 
when sick and weary.
Martin Luther

Prelude - Marguerite Pearson


A no. 1 hit for The Singing Nun, 
who was Sister Luc-Gabrielle, 
(born Jeanine Deckers) 
from a Belgium convent.
 The song is a eulogy about the founder of the 
Dominican Order, St. Dominic, 
a Spanish-born priest.
The 1966 movie "The Singing Nun" 

was made about Sister Gabrielle's life 
(the part leading up to her singing career), 
starring Debbie Reynolds.

 The Singing Nun - (1963 )

A great song should lift your heart, 
warm the soul and make you feel good.
Colbie Caillat

The Duet - George Goodwine Kilburne
(faithlessness, treachery or betrayal)
 The song debuted in a B-movie western 
called "Stardust On The Sage", 
sung by Gene Autry!
 In Casablanca, Perfidia plays 
while the characters Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund 
are ballroom dancing during the famed
 "flashback to Paris" sequence.
  You may be most familiar with the 
instrumental version by The Ventures,
 who had a no. 15 hit in 1960.
The Ventures are: The Best Selling 
Instrumental Rock Band in Music History.

The Ventures

 Casablanca - Memories of Paris
Humphrey Bogart - Ingrid Bergman

Music is a second language to my heart.
  Mara Arps

The Old Man and a Woman Playing a Mandolin - Jozsef Rippi Ronai
On Music 
Thomas Moore
When through life unblest we rove,
Losing all that made life dear,
Should some notes we used to love,
In days of boyhood, meet our ear,
Oh! how welcome breathes the strain!
Wakening thoughts that long have slept,
Kindling former smiles again
In faded eyes that long have wept.

Like the gale, that sighs along
Beds of oriental flowers,
Is the grateful breath of song,
That once was heard in happier hours.
Fill'd with balm the gale sighs on,
Though the flowers have sunk in death;
So, when pleasure's dream is gone,
Its memory lives in Music's breath.

Music, oh, how faint, how weak,
Language fades before thy spell!
Why should Feeling ever speak,
When thou canst breathe her soul so well?
Friendship's balmy words may feign,
Love's are even more false than they;
Oh! 'tis only music's strain
Can sweetly soothe, and not betray.
It was the moment I realized 
what music can do to people, 
how it can make you hurt and 
feel so good all at once.
Nina LaCour, Hold Still

The Piano Lesson - Francis Day

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