7/19 because Lena KNOWS the language…

i’ve heard “You Don’t Have to Know The Language” done by several different performers, but i like Lena Horne’s version best.

The premise of the song – on the off chance that you’ve never heard it – is that a man travels to Brazil and falls in love with a local resident, even though he doesn’t speak Portuguese. Of the versions I’ve heard, most play it in this fashion. A nice and breezy, albeit improbable, love song.

But Lena is much smarter than to believe that this is the true meaning the songwriter was hoping to express, so she cuts to the chase. In her version she has a way of almost “growling” through certain verses, with a tone that reminds you what the song is really all about. So while you hear innocent phrases like “the girl in your arms”, you know from her tone that Ms. Horne is decidedly not thinking about mere snuggling.

If the real story line of the song is to be believed, it would seem odd that two people could meet and exchange “pleasantries” without ever being able to understand a word that either one is saying. Engaging in almost any task where the sole means of communication are facial expression and finger pointing must be difficult – never mind one wherein the fingers will be otherwise occupied and the facial expressions, well, a tad difficult to control at times.

As an idea, you’d be tempted to say that these types of unions don’t happen – but as a former member of the military who went overseas, i must report that it does occur quite more often than you’d think. Its surprising to see how humans can overcome almost any obstacle in the pursuit of sex. If nothing else, the lack of verbal communcation negates the need to exchange numbers, and  it provides a great “out” should the “pleasantries” start showing signs of becoming less than pleasant.

i don’t know that much about Lena Horne – but the way she sings this song – i have a strong feeling that she too knows that these “improbable” hook-ups can and do happen. i have an even stronger feeling that this knowledge may very well have come to her first-hand, much like it did me.

7/15, pt 2

“Ingratiate”.

i had looked it up in part because i had thought it meant something much loftier than it actually does.

Worse still, many of it’s slang phrases, as found in the Thesarus, sound damned near kinky. To me at least.

Yep, my 50th post, and this was all i brought to the table.

7/13

Now why’d you have to go and do that Liza?

Up until the point where you decided to perform “Imagine”, i was enjoying the concert so – i didn’t even mind the backup singers you introduced at the midway mark to help you out (well, i minded them a little). But with one song, you turned an otherwise enjoyable listen into one that had just one seed of remorse. One bad turn.

True Liza, there were a couple of clunkers in your “men” medley as well, but i’m choosing to ignore them – for both your sake and mine (trust me, i’ve danced to “It’s raining men” – with abandon – quite a number of times). Only “Imagine” sticks out as wrong, as “off” and in general it provides a “where in the hell did we just go?” feeling.

Now, most people may feel that having only one bad call in an entire body of work is much better than having many, but i disagree. To my mind, it would almost be better if the entire show was terrible – at least then you’d know why you had that bad taste in your mouth as you left. See, when one to two choices are bad, and the remainder of the show is good-to great, i always feel bad for the performer (a feeling similar to watching your child fall off a bike). If the entire show is rotten, then i only feel bad for myself (usually the audience shows gratitude regardless, so i’m never quite sure if they share my belief as to the rottenness of the show we just saw together).

Obviously, it’s quite easy for me – a no-talent no-one, to make comments like these, and Liza may very well have had a very valid reason for the inclusion of this tune in particular. But when the remainder of the show is filled with the kind of stuff that made Ethel Merman fat and happy, it seems to not only not work – but also hurt the original song as well.

i really don’t mean to hurt you Liza, and i really did enjoy all the rest of the performance. i do hope however, that should you read this, you keep in mind next time to stick to what you’re good at. And thanks – because through your ill-fit choice, i’m reminded to do the same.