Tag Archives: music

Are Lyricists Poets?


This week on Facebook: Perhaps two of the thing that have stuck in my mind associated with music was listening to an aficionado who was in raptures about the tune ‘Begin the Beguine’ and someone writing about lyrics, especially opera, being transposed into english. I don’t remember the sources of either, but the aficionado thought that Begin the Beguine was the only complete story line reflected in the lyrics of a tune and the other writing that words set to music in a foreign language needed great care to be taken when translating the lyrics into english. The latter sentiments intimated in an article written on operavore:

It struck me that opera in English is particular, and often challenging, because our vowels are not always beautiful and unfriendly consonants tend to intrude. The Problem with Opera in English

I can’t answer the question, ‘Are Lyricists Poets?’ with so much obvious disagreement. Latouche and Sondheim clearly disagree but perhaps the question is a lot more complex than it first appears — Latouche may have thought the term lyricist to be somewhat demeaning.

His friend the novelist and composer Paul Bowles recalled that Latouche “made his living writing song lyrics, although he called himself a poet, and bitterly resented my calling him a lyricist.” Words and Shadows

Lyrics, even poetic ones, are not poems. Poems are written to be read, silently or aloud, not sung. Stephen Sondheim

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A Reprise for Sunday


This Sunday on Facebook: I offer a reprise from July 2018 as a link to next week posts in which there is a repeat of 2 songs. Those who may be fans of The Great American  Songbook like me (greatly influenced by my mother), may enjoy this Sunday’s reprise. I assure you that although next week’s offering also includes 5 (posted) videos, they are different, as is the theme of my post.

The following are extracts taken from my July 2018 of Aasof on The Great American Songbook and are about my 2 repeats next week, although both are by different artists and intended to add to my question next week: Are Lyricists Poets?

Unlike the instrumental piece composed by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke in 1947 with lyrics added in 1954 by Johnny Mercer. Midnight Sun became famous as a jazz standard and is certainly (currently) one of my favourites.

Begin The Beguine was written by Cole Porter for the Broadway show Jubilee  in 1935. Begin The Beguine has a set of lyrics that are hard to remember and a melody that is difficult to forget (at least the opening bars). It’s interesting that it was Artie Shaw’s instrumental version that was a big hit in 1938.

Aasof on The Great American Songbook


This week on Facebook: Sometimes a word or a particular set of words keep buzzing around in my brain and simply will not stop their buzz, buzz, buzz, until I resolve where it, or they, came from. So it was with ‘old aunt Harriet’, I knew that I had heard it used in a song but couldn’t remember the piece. Read more of this post

“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”


The recent flooding in Britain brought the author Cowper to mind. No: not the poet William Cowper, nor  John Cowper Powys who was a prolific novelist, essayist, letter writer, poet and philosopher; a writer of enormous scope, complexity, profundity and humour. Rather, John Middleton Murray who mostly wrote science fiction under the pen name of Richard Cowper, writing Profundis with much humour. Read more of this post

Johnny Appleseed


Listening to music on the radio this afternoon the words ‘apple tree’ reminded me of a cartoon film I must have seen many years ago and which I have never forgotten. The cartoon was about Johnny Appleseed‘. Why I should remember the cartoon so well, I don’t know, maybe it was the period during which I saw it. Read more of this post

Words & Music


Some time ago I posted a piece on the music Moonglow (the theme from the film Picnic), where I remarked that I thought no lyrics have ever done justice to the melody. Thanks to phonomono78s – I came across a recording by Ethel Waters. While most tributes to the song Moonglow associate the music with the theme from the 1955 film ‘Picnic’, it was originally a popular song from 1933 and recording by Ethel Waters in 1934, Despite my remark, in my case at least, once the words and music become embedded on the mind, it seems impossible to disassociate them. You hum it, I’ll sing it: “It must have been Moonglow…” Read more of this post

Moonglow


I have a number memorable scenic moments from films, with perhaps one of the most memorable being that of Kim Novak stepping toward William Holden to the music of Moonglow, which was being played by an off scene orchestra.   Read more of this post

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The Land Is Ours

a Landrights campaign for Britain

The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

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