it's time to let loose this week's set of muppets numbers.
funny how thingummies take twists and turns.
this week was going to be a set of songs from different musicals,
with a running link of its own
(i'll let you conjure up quite what they might've been and what theme).
but, in the course of ponderising, a completely fresh theme emerged
and all the initial choices got jettisoned for some-di-dum-thing that,
some-di-dum-how, pressed itself into the forefrontal of my thingummy-dum.
and then, i wrestled with competing versions of the same songs
(it ain't easy being in the driving seat, is it?
oh,no - there's responsibilities involved....)
before settling on these interpretions.
and so, here's a wistful selection of musical observational comments and reflections
on the subject of what might bond might hold a couple together.
an understanding of the ties that bind?
a longing for summat that's intrinsically, intangibly interlocked?
a deep desire to belong?
a healthy spot to be in?
unveiling the inequalities 'twixt protagonists?
consider it as y'will - you decide...
nina simone: 'he needs me'
- from her debut recordings, here the 1959 stereo mix
that came out a little after the initial 1958 mono release.
written by arthur hamilton for a 1955 movie, 'pete kelly's blues',
about the goings on between band members and gangsters
in a prohibition era speakeasy.
the soundtrack is great, including ella fitzgerald and peggy lee,
whose version of this song i nearly chose,
but, well, this is nina simone, is it not...
hamilton also contributed 'sing a rainbow',
yes that song, also sung by peggy lee, to the soundtrack
(avoid cilla black's recording, but have a listen to the dells' 1969 soul version,
intertwined with 'love is blue',
with great cello lines and a faaab talky-bass voice interlude
with a bw-esque falsetto interjecting
- maybe that is the version i should've, ultimately, chosen?).
as another aside, another of his great songs 'cry me a river',
was to be sung by ella fitzgerald in this same movie,
but was jettisoned, only to appear almost immediately in 'the girl can't help it', and became an iconic performance sung by julie london).
but i digress...
shelley duvall: 'he needs me'
- a harry nilsson song, arranged by van dyke parks
from the 1980 movie 'popeye'.
who'd thunk you'd fall in love with olive oyl?
well, i put it to you, it's impossible not to.
especially when she's brought to the silver screen by shelley duvall.
especially when she winsomely offers this number...
many songs were performed live in the movie and rerecorded.
this is not the onscreen sung-live performance
(both have a little robin williams interjection).
i've picked the lp soundtrack version,
mainly because the only movie clip i can find is poor quality
and truncates the song.
though shelley d is olive oyl,
if you've ever heard inara george (little feat's lowell g's daughter)
perform the song with van dyke parks
(we saw 'em at a small date in lunnun town's camden town a few years back),
she, too can be the living embodiment of the character.
+ get a look / listen to claire (muldaur, daughter of geoff muldaur,
a top class, scholarly gent
who stayed with us when i booked him at the greys
- his version of 'brazil' was used in that terry gilliam movie)
and the reasons perform the song with vdp, too!*).
but, i'm losing the plot, so, onwards...
georgia brown: 'as long as he needs me'
- from the original 1960 west end soundtrack to lionel bart's musical 'oliver!' (not the more insipid, 'cor blimey, mary poppins', shani wallis 1968 movie version).
nancy ponders her relationship with bill sykes
(and seals her fate by not legging it).
the first west end show i saw, not yet a teen,
taken by the chaps next door
(a middle aged fellow and his stage photographer, um, 'nephew',
close friends of lionel
(genuinely, though the euphemism friends of dorothy applied)
- did i know what a gay couple were in those, pre-legalisation days?
anyway, my mum let me go to the theatre with them...
the glitz, the songs, the pathos, the staging
(with sean kenny's phenomenal exposed, open rigs, props and revolving stage), the photo of lionel i was given
- all this is indelibly imprinted on this now-not-so-young mind.
i can't find the show programme, so not sure of the cast at time of seeing,
but i know davy jones # and phill f'in' collins
both played the part of the artful dodger during its early run.
- besides, there's more asides than a polygon appearing in a hall of mirrors...
brian wilson: 'she says that she needs me'
- the more fully realised 'contemporary' (?read 'mor'?)
joe thomas production version of the rough russ 'guess i'm dumb' titelman
lyric'd 'sherry / sandy / tricia (but not shani)...',
rewritten and rewrought by carole bayer sager,
that removes an individual's name and, thusly thereby,
unwittingly makes it more in keeping with my universal theme,
this time approaching it from the male angle.
ah, a more succinct intro here
- no prompt card needed, no meandering...
consider yerselves at home.
feel free to deck the pages with numbers that in some way
expand upon what's here,
or, merely, go off at a tangent
(you'd never catch me doing that, though...)
* here's a claire / vdp live rendition (not in competition):
# and here's georgia brown and davy jones together
on the ed sullivan show when 'oliver!' had transferred to broadway
(also, hors de combat):
the above is purely for the porpoises of this week's botb,.
it bears no relation to any personal doings whatsoever
and nothing of note should be read into the numbers chosen