Thursday, May 16, 2013

Maybe Tuesday Will Be My Good News Day

For the last few weeks we've been using a song during barre work that is excruciatingly familiar. You know the kind, the kind that you KNOW you know, but it hovers right off the edge of your memory like a word you can only remember the first letter of. Compounding the problem is that ballet class music is usually tailored specifically for barre or center work, going so far as to shorten or rework songs to fit specific exercises (I honestly couldn't tell you which exercise we've been using it for, in much the same way that I honestly cannot tell you what type of plug the bathtub in my last apartment has, even though I used it less than a week ago). The tempo was changed quite a bit, and that can make a song sound like something entirely different (not having any lyrics made it tricky, too).
I know that my teacher uses a lot of songs from musicals when she's in the mood for it (she choreographs musicals for a local student theater) so I was searching my mind's vast catalog of show tunes (I, admittedly, also work at a musical theater. I can tell you two things about it: 1- through-composed musicals are proof of an evil entity at work in the world, and 2- there are a LOT of sex jokes in old musicals.) and coming up trumps.
Tonight, finally, she mentioned the name of the song: "The Man I Love" by Gershwin. AH HA! I knew it was something I recognized! Not from musicals, though. No, I recognize it from my collection of Billie Holiday tunes (I freakin' LOVE Lady Day) that played near-constantly during a certain period in my life. I have always been rather fond of the sincere simplicity of the lyrics in songs of the era. Simplicity you couldn't (or shouldn't, more like) get away with now for fear of sounding trite and precious, cliché and condescending. Can you tell I don't listen to a lot of popular music these days?

Now that I know what song it is I can totally sing you the entire thing by heart. Here is the version I am familiar with. The barre version is an up-tempo piano number, naturally.

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