Trying to get back to sleep after some cat wailing outside woke me up last night, for some reason Glen Miller’s “American Patrol” came into my head, a recording I always associated with my big brothers, all now gone.
That somehow led to my thinking a list of songs I love and have a deep emotional connection with might be interesting enough to help me fall back to sleep, songs connected to people and places that evoke such specific emotions it’s like a method acting sense memory exercise just to hear them.
Then I thought, to make my mind have to concentrate harder (which is what induces the sleep I guess) I limited it to only songs with two-word titles and only one song per letter. I could write an essay on each title, a bit memoir and musical history, but my posts are long enough as it is, so here’s the list with a few notes to clarify here and there:
AMERICAN PATROL, Glen Miller’s version, though my brothers played it on their saxes and clarinets and trumpet and I played it on piano when I was a kid, still do sometimes, though not as well as I once did.
BLUE MOON, Elvis Presley (from THE SUN SESSIONS)
CRAZY LOVE, Van Morrison
DANNY BOY, lots of versions, but the one that gets me most in recent years is the Charlie Hayden & Hank Jones instrumental version from their CD STEAL AWAY
ELEANOR RIGBY, The Beatles
FALLING SLOWLY, Glen Hansard (from ONCE) and the version my older son worked out for me to join along with on the piano to his guitar
GERTRUDE’S BOUNCE, Clifford Brown
HOBO’S LULLABY, Woody Guthrie (first heard when Tom Wilson played and sang it at PRIDE’S CASTLE coffee house in Spokane Washington in 1964)
IT’S OVER, Roy Orbison
JERSEY BOUNCE, Count Basie (one of the songs my older sisters taught me to jitterbug to)
LOST APRIL, Nat King Cole
MOLLY MALONE, again an old Irish tune I sang and played and heard many versions of but recently it’s Sinead O’Connor’s version that tears me up
NAKED EYE, Luscious Jackson (even though they recorded this in the ‘90s I think, it evokes NYC in the ‘70s for me, a very creative and fulfilling time)
OLD FOLKS, Miles Davis (from SOME DAY MY PRINCE WILL COME)
PEACE PIECE, Bill Evans
‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, Thelonious Monk
SOMETHING’S COMING, Larry Kert (from the original stage cast recording of WESTSIDE STORY I first heard at 15 and it changed my life in some ways, at least my sense of what music and lyrics could do)
TAKE FIVE, Dave Brubeck
UTTER CHAOS, Gerry Mulligan (like all these songs, this one takes me right back to a specific time and place and feeling, thanks to Gerry, a too often overlooked genius of jazz, or music period)
WHITE CHRISTMAS, Bing Crosby
YOUNG LOVE, the ‘50s hit by Sonny James