Song 46:365 is Memory from the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats based on T.S. Eliot’s poems. Lloyd Webber was concerned that the melody sounded too similar to Ravel’s Bolero and that the main theme resembled an improvised flute solo from California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & the Papas. However, he asked his father’s opinion who said “it sounds like a million dollars!” – which probably is but a fraction of the royalties he’s earned on this song!
For the 45th song of the year I’m playing Ton Bennett’s I Left My Heart in San Francisco, dating from 1953. Tony Bennett said of the song, “that song helped make me a world citizen. It allowed me to live, work and sing in any city on the globe. It changed my whole life.” Since the first recording it has been recorded by hundreds of artists, and it’s worth mentioning comedian Steven Allen’s parody, I Left My Nose in San Diego!
Song 27:365 is I Dreamed a Dream from the musical Les Misérables. Based on the original J’avais rêvé d’une autre vie in the original 1980 Paris production, this is one of Fantine’s biggest songs in the show. I hope you enjoy my version.
I’m staying with Andrew Lloyd Webber for song 17:365 which is Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from the musical Phantom of the Opera. If Past the Point of No Return is the musical’s “eleven o’clock number”, the traditional show-stopping performance towards the end of the second act, then I think Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again must be the 10:45pm number!
The song is sung by Christine and is a lament for her father who died seven years previously. I’ve always liked the way this song goes between the minor verse and major chorus, and the extended section after the second chorus is beautiful: “No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years.”
We’re returning to 1940 for song 13:365 in my collection, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore with music by Duke Ellington and lyrics by Bob Russell. I think it was Harry Connick Jr’s version in the soundtrack of When Harry Met Sally which got me playing this song – in HCJ’s style, though nowhere near his performance! I hope you enjoy my version of a song I’ve loved playing for about 25 years!
Song 7:365 is A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, a jazz standard dating from 1939. It was written by Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin in the French village of Le Lavandou just before the outbreak of the Second World War. The story goes that Sherwin played the song on a piano in a local bar with the help of the resident saxophonist. Maschwitz stood, holding a glass of wine, singing the lyrics, but the patrons of the bar were not impressed. In 2002 an attempt was made to find the bar in order to hang a plaque commemorating the birthplace of the song. Unfortunately, despite help from elderly residents in the town and the local tourist office, the bar was never found.
Song 5:365 is a piece from the Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvæus musical Kristina Från Duvemåla, based on Vilhelm Moberg’s epic series of novels which tell the tale of a family’s migration from Sweden to the USA in 19th Century.
This particular song, Guldet Blev til Sand (“The gold turned to sand”) is sung by Robert and describes an ill-fated search for gold which results in the death of his friend Arvid. It’s one of the most popular songs from the show and was performed in the original version by Swedish superstar Peter Jöback. I hope you enjoy this piece!
Song 4:365 is On My Own from the musical Les Misérables in which Éponine expresses her unrequited love for Marius. Although this song is one of the most well-loved in the show, it didn’t feature in the original French version. Instead the melody was used in a song performed by Fantine, L’Air de la Misère.
Merry Christmas! Today’s song is the 1985 Shakin’ Stevens’ classic Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope that everyone who enjoys my #365Songs has a wonderful Christmas.
Today’s song was written Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and was first performed in the 1950 film The Lemon Drop Kid by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. The first recorded version of Silver Bells was released in the same year by Bing Crosby.
Apparently it was originally written as “Tinkle Bells”, and it wasn’t until Jay Livingston let his wife hear it that he found out that “tinkle” has another meaning!