Sunday, August 23, 2009

ANOTHER ALPHABET LIST

Falling asleep last night to the sound of the fan, a tune popped into my head with a long title (I had heard it earlier thanks to iTunes shuffle on my laptop)—a very early version of Bing Crosby singing “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” which was not only amazingly poignant still, but musically unique. His vocal chops were about as good as they get and were almost revolutionary at the time (Louis Armstrong among other jazz greats, for instance, credit Bing as being a big influence).

Anyway, started thinking about songs I dig that happen to have long titles (six words or more) and came up with these before I was in snoozeville:

AFTER THE LIGHTS GO DOWN LOW (Al Hibbler)
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? (Bing Crosby)
CHERRY PINK AND APPLE BLOSSOM WHITE (Michel LeGrand, corny but unique, that horn, those horns and strings, and the glissandos!)
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE (Dionne Warwick, corny also, but still potent because she was another vocal original)
EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT ME AND MY MONKEY (The Beatles—great song, great title!)
THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE (Roberta Flack)
GUESS I’LL HANG MY TEARS OUT TO DRY (Frank Sinatra)
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOIN’ ON (lots of people, but Bill Charlap’s version has been my recent favorite)
I AM A MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW (The Soggy Bottom Boys from the O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? soundtrack)
JUNE IS BUSTIN’ OUT ALL OVER (from the original CAROUSEL cast album)
KEEP THE BUGS OFF YOUR GLASS AND THE BEARS OFF YOUR ASS (The Bad Plus)
THE LADY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU (Glen Miller, Tex Benacke vocal I think)
MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY AND I GO MINE (Bob Dylan)
NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN (Charlie Haden and Hank Jones)
ON THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA, AND THE SANTA FE (Johnny Mercer)
PEOPLE WILL SAY WE’RE IN LOVE (Shirley Jones & Gordan MacRae from the OKLAHOMA! soundtrack)
Q?
THE RETURN OF THE SON OF MONSTER MAGNET (Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention)
THE SURREY WITH THE FRINGE ON THE TOP (Ahmad Jamal)
THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME (Fred Astaire)
U?
V?
WAY DOWN YONDER IN A MINOR KEY (Michael Winch)
X?
YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME LONESOME WHEN YOU’RE GONE (Madeleine Peyroux’s version, thanks to TPW)
ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART (The Coasters)

4 comments:

harryn said...

man that was great - the only one i could come up with is "do you want to know a secret" - beatles, harrison ...
usually artists like to distill things into a catch phrase - paintings too ...
the only six worder i can come up with is schnabel's "circumnavigating in a sea of sh_t" - a lot of five worders:
"brides descending a staircase" woops ...
"saint francis receiving his stigmata", van eyck ...
great exercise ...
wondering what your thoughts are on the commentators on msnbc; chris mathews, keith, rachel, and that morning joe thing ...

Butch in Waukegan said...

Yip Harburg, writer of Brother of Can You Spare a Dime, among many - including all the songs in Wizard of Oz - was an amazing talent. A lefty too, and victim of the ’50s black list.

I was introduced to the song when I was about 8 years old. It was in a book of sheet music in my grandma’s piano bench.

AlamedaTom said...

"Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia"

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

Tom King said...

How about Mingus's "Free Cell Block F, Tis Nazi USA"