Songs you didn't know had words

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Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:27 am

There are a lot of songs that jazzmen play instrumentally, and we think of them as instrumental numbers, but they mostly had words when they were first published.

I didn't used to know this one had words. Ellington said he wrote it without words, and that he was thinking of ladies that go to Europe and then come back puttin' on airs. The words were written by Irving Mills--Duke's manager--which would mean he shared the copyright and the royalties, even if the words were never sung.

When Ellington heard the words, he said "That's lovely, but it's not what i had in mind at all."


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:27 am

Here's another one I didn't know had words:


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:32 am

I guess these words were actually written by Joni Mitchell (but there's no good Joni vocal online):


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:37 am

The Pointer Sisters did this one:


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:00 pm


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:01 pm


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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:50 am

Here are Joni's lyrics for "Goodbye Porkpie Hat:"

When Charlie speaks of Lester
You know someone great has gone
The sweetest swinging music man
Had a Porkie Pig hat on
A bright star
In a dark age
When the bandstands had a thousand ways
Of refusing a black man admission
Black musician
In those days they put him in an
Underdog position
Cellars and chittlins'

When Lester took him a wife
Arm and arm went black and white
And some saw red
And drove them from their hotel bed
Love is never easy
It's short of the hope we have for happiness
Bright and sweet
Love is never easy street!
Now we are black and white
Embracing out in the lunatic New York night
It's very unlikely we'll be driven out of town
Or be hung in a tree
That's unlikely!

Tonight these crowds
Are happy and loud
Children are up dancing in the streets
In the sticky middle of the night
Summer serenade
Of taxi horns and fun arcades
Where right or wrong
Under neon
Every feeling goes on!
For you and me
The sidewalk is a history book
And a circus
Dangerous clowns
Balancing dreadful and wonderful perceptions
They have been handed
Day by day
Generations on down

We came up from the subway
On the music midnight makes
To Charlie's bass and Lester's saxophone
In taxi horns and brakes
Now Charlie's down in Mexico
With the healers
So the sidewalk leads us with music
To two little dancers
Dancing outside a black bar
There's a sign up on the awning
It says "Pork Pie Hat Bar"
And there's black babies dancing...
Tonight!

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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:00 am

When I first heard "Porkpie" with the vocal, I thought it was cool that it had words.

But soon it started to annoy me that Joni couldn't come up with 3 minutes of things to say about Lester Young without making it all about race.

No doubt Lester suffered because of racism, but that isn't what made him special, and we have no reason to suppose that Mingus was writing about that aspect.

It's as if Joni decided to paper over Mingus with her own agenda, which is incredibly egotistical, now that I think about it. bounce

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Re: Songs you didn't know had words

Post  pinhedz on Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:59 pm

Here's a song we never would have known had words if it had stayed the way it was composed in 1947. But since Monk recorded it again, with words, in 1968, we know it has words. geek


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