Thursday, May 7, 2015

Like a peacock on fire: By Strauss!




It suddenly occurs to me that my last post probably made no sense to anyone but me. I think - I hope - I was trying to draw parallels between the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, and George and Ira Gershwin. Sounds silly? Maybe. But it seemed oh-so-significant at the time. My Gershwin exploration is a dreamlike experience, and you know how hard it is to explain or even describe a dream to someone else, if you can even remember it. And somehow it falls apart on remembering.

But meanwhile! Here is a fabulous recording of one of the GG brothers' most charming songs. It has a killer lyric that is very hard to get your tongue around, and a fast, sassy, brilliant tune. Maureen McGovern, an underrated singer with an incredible range, gets around this very handily, and with operatic precision. And for all that, she still has fun with it.  By Jove, by jing, by Strauss is the thing!

(P. S. Kiri te Kanawa does a bizarre version of this in a thick Yiddish accent - wtf?? - and does not sing the high-altitude coloratura solo which McGovern knocks off with such aplomb. Now, it could be that the arrangement was written especially for her. At any rate, like this song that flames up like a peacock on fire, it's killer.)




Away with the music of Broadway
Be off with your Irving Berlin
Oh I give no quarter to Kern or Cole Porter
And Gershwin keeps pounding on tin

How can I be civil when hearing this drivel
It's only for nightclubbin' souses
Oh give me the free 'n' easy waltz that is Vienneasy and
Go tell the band 
If they want a hand
The waltz must be Strauss's
Ya, ya ya, give me oom-pa-pah

When I want a melody
Lilting through the house
Then I want a melody
By Strauss
It laughs, it sings, the world is in rhyme
Swinging to three-quarter time

Let the Danube flow along
And the Fledermauss
Keep the wine and give me song
By Strauss

By Jove, by Jing, by Strauss is the thing
So I say to ha-cha-cha, heraus!
Just give me your oom-pa-pah, by Strauss!

Let the Danube flow along
And the Fledermauss
Keep the wine and give me song
By Strauss

By Jove, by Jing, by Strauss is the thing
So I say to ha-cha-cha, heraus!
Just give me your oom-pa-pah,
By Strauss!






  Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!



No comments:

Post a Comment