Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off—or Not

If you want to have some fun today, sing the Gershwin song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” without pronouncing the key words differently.  The song is supposed to be sung,

You like potayto and I like potahto
You like tomayto and I like tomahto
Potayto, potahto,
Tomayto, tomahto.
Let's call the whole thing off!

Imagine the hilarity if you sang,

You like potayto and I like potayto
You like tomayto and I like tomayto
Potayto, potayto,
Tomayto, tomayto.
Let's call the whole thing off!

People will be ROTFL!

I was thinking about the Gershwins the other day and their enormous contribution to American music.  George died at a young age, but together with his lyricist brother Ira they produced some of the finest music anywhere.  In my humble un-music schooled opinion.

I got to know more about the music of the Gershwins from a Michael Feinstein CD entitled Pure Gershwin. We first had the collection as an LP about the time Alyssa was eight. We listened to it so much she was probably the only child her age who could sing from memory “Embraceable You” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.”  I would have to say that “Our Love Is Here to Say” on that album is my favorite song ever.  What an amazing and beautiful melody and lyrics!

It's very clear
Our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but ever and a day

The radio
And the telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies and in time may go

But oh my dear
Our love is here to stay
Together we're going a long long way

In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They're only made of clay
But our love is here to stay…

We acquired a CD of the Feinstein collection at some point but it has disappeared.  I went to buy another one and found that they are selling new on Amazon for between  $150 and $272! A musical rarity.

We heard Michael Feinstein at Wolf Trap a few years ago and were pleased and amazed that his voice, serviceable at best on the album, had improved wonderfully.  He might have taken voice lessons (Judy Collins did, after she was successfully established as a singer).

In any case, I am thankful today for the gift of so many wonderful songs from two talented brothers. Give them a listen. I think you’ll be pleased.

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