Thursday, June 11, 2009

Theme Thursday - Swing

The first thing that came to mind was, of course, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing). I performed this song with the little group I formed a few years ago. We called ourselves Deja Vu, and we did the old folks' home circuit, along with a few appearances at parties, restaurants, and the like.

I went hunting on YouTube, found Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, all those wonderful names, then happened on what I think is a hidden gem. According to the notes, "Incoming class of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz at Loyola University New Orleans perform with Jazz Masters Herbie Hancock, Thelonius Monk Jr., Terence Blanchard, and Wayne Shorter."



Then I remembered - when I was a little girl, I lived near a park where I used to go every day (as I recall) to swing on the swings. There was a song I loved to sing while I swung. It was called "Dear Hearts and Gentle People." I thought I remembered Bing Crosby performing it, but when I went to YouTube, I played Bing Crosby's version, and it wasn't quite right. I listened to Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, but that wasn't right, either. Finally, I found a Perry Como version. The words were closer to what I remembered - "There's a place I'd like to be, and it's back in Tennessee" than Bing Crosby's "There's a place I'd like to go, and it's down in Ohio" (stressed OH - hi - OH), and the rhythm was perfect. Like Goldilocks, I sighed. It was just right.



Listening, I felt slightly queasy, as I always did when I was swinging. I would sing at the top of my lungs, and I'd time my singing so that when I got to the phrase "I feel so welcome" I would be right at the top of my arc, and as I sang "each time that I return..." I would be returning toward the ground. It was magical.



I sang other songs while I swung, like Teresa Brewer's "Put Another Nickel In" -



and Gogi Grant's "The Wayward Wind".



Nothing else, though, was quite as good as "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" for swinging.

Many thanks to Reyjr for this week's theme. It has brought back some lovely, sunny memories.

For more Theme Thursday posts, click here.

21 comments:

Ronda Laveen said...

Your post brought back so many memories for me. My mother, who passed away from Alzheimer's a year and a half ago, had all of those LPs. My sister and I knew every word to every song on that Teresa Brewer album. We would put the album on or Hi-Fi stereo almost every night and sing and dance around the living room. Ahh, the good times.

John Hayes said...

"Dear Hearts & Gentle People" is a great tune-- there's also a Bing Crosby version in which he sings "There's a place I'd like to go & it's back in Idaho."

Brian Miller said...

such wonderful memories associated with swing..great tunes!

Patresa Hartman said...

i didn't know perry como was such a sexy man. holy cow!

i love that you timed your singing with your swinging. :)

Poetikat said...

Cool!Cool!Cool! We have been watching Elvis Costello's "Spectacle" program of interviews and performance by some fantastic musicians and songwriters. Only last night we finished the most recent one with Herbie Hancock! We are still amazed at how young he looks. We thought he was in his 50s and he's closer to 70!

Great post. Loved it!

Kat

willow said...

Fun trip back in swing! Thanks, Sandra, great post.

A.Decker said...

It's been, as they say, ages since I heard any of these. (Yes, I do remember them, and it was ages ago;-) I also enjoyed your description of childhood swinging/singing.

Thanks for the swingin' memories!

The Silver Fox said...

Loved the photo collage of "swingers!"

Wings said...

Great post, you cover lots of "swing"! Thanks for sharing it all, and the music, too!

Sandra Leigh said...

Good morning to Ronda, John, Brian, Patresa, Kat, Willow, A.Decker, Silver Fox, and Wings. Just this once, I didn't rush straight to the computer to make sure everything was in order on my pre-packaged post, and lo! I hadn't actually embedded the Loyola (It Don't Mean a Thing...) video - so I've corrected that now.

I'm glad you all enjoyed the music. I loved searching it out.

Betsy said...

Love those old swinging hits! Can't help but tap my toes...

Tom said...

love the epic scale of that last song, The Wayward Wind...excellant post... happy TT.

Sandra Leigh said...

Betsy - yes, it is hard to tap your toes to most of today's popular music - stomp your feet, maybe?

Tom - Life was lived on a grander scale then, I think. ;>)

The Clever Pup said...

Great post. How wonderful that you can sing.

Sandra Leigh said...

Hi, Clever Pup. Alas, that's all in the past. I just sing in the shower now.

Mrsupole said...

I usually listen to the news while on the computer, but when I play the videos I pause the TV and turn it up. My youngest granddaughter (she's 5), who I am babysitting was in the kids bedroom watching TV, she quickly turned off the TV and came and sat with me. We watched every video together and she just danced and got into the swing of the music with me. We had a lot of fun with each one. She actually was a little upset when she saw that there was an end to them. So she got her play laptop and is now sitting beside me playing the piano game on it. She is gigiling and laughing cause she is making her own music. She says she is being like the videos cause she is singing her abc's and doing them on the piano thingy.

We both thank you for posting these videos. They were much enjoyed.

God bless.

Sandra Leigh said...

I'm so glad you and your granddaughter both enjoyed the videos. It sounds as if she's developing an early love of both words and music - and isn't that great?

subtorp77 said...

Sandra, quite the "swingin'" collection, here. I can remember that queasy feeling, first time I ever got on a swing. But then I got over it real quick, wot?

Sandra Leigh said...

subby, I never really got over mine. I still get seasick, too. It's all very annoying - but I love swinging, nonetheless.

subtorp77 said...

Sandra, I do remember getting sea-sick once while I was in the Navy. Of course, there were a lot of contributing factors; but it never happened again. Strange, that...

reyjr said...

You're very welcome! I enjoyed the theme as much as you did! :D haha. And we were thinking along the same lines too! :D We are truly musicians at heart. :)

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