[Composer Richard] Rodgers was particularly annoyed by what seemed to him Hammerstein’s dilatory attitude when it came to writing lyrics. So his way of dealing with the situation would be to punish his partner with silence when the long-awaited lyrics finally arrived. One of the most difficult songs Hammerstein ever wrote was “Hello, Young Lovers,” a poignant musing about a past love that is one of the high points of THE KING AND I. It took him five weeks of struggle, but he eventually had something he felt proud of. He sent the lyrics by special messenger to Rodgers, with instructions to wait for an answer, but no answer came. After four days, Rodgers called on another matter and, at the very end, said that, by the way, the lyrics were fine. Then he hung up. They were four of the most painful days of Hammerstein’s life. –from SOMEWHERE FOR ME, A BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD RODGERS, by Meryle Secrest

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Of all the pre-R&R songs in popular music with “Hello” in the title, no doubt the one with the most staying power has been Rodgers and Hammerstein’s HELLO, YOUNG LOVERS. Thus, it is with that evergreen that we begin this selection of “Hello” songs:

Next, we turn from ever green to avian blue:

We close with a question (or two or three) for all you lovely ladies out there (but you must play the song to hear the questions):



AUF WIEDERSEHEN (German): until we meet again, a temporary farewell or goodbye

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In a comment to my last post, I included a clip of a great German vocal group singing AUF WIEDERSEH’N, MY DEAR (a 1932 composition by American songwriters, not to be confused with AUF WIEDERSEH’N, SWEETHEART, a song which was a hit in 1952).

As it happens, there are a number of “goodbye” songs, but some are more extreme than others. For example, the Italian composer Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) wrote a famous (in his day) song titled GOODBYE, in which that word appears ten times, including five times in the last two lines:

What are we waiting for, you and I?
A pleading look, a stifled cry.
Goodbye, forever! Goodbye, forever!
Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!

Bye and bye, such an effusive edict of terminal temerity caused famed black vaudeville comedian Bert Williams no end of alarm:

And then, amigo mio, there’s the Spanish word for goodbye, which has a more soothing sound….unless you happen to be a gringo facing a bandito….

….which would be enough to give anyone the….

THE END (but comments are open, if you have any final thoughts).

A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME (Part 2 of 2)

I am pleased to announce (as is often said when making an announcement) the proper pairings of birth names with noms de plume listed in Part 1:

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5
e. 6
f. 1
g. 10
h. 9
i. 8
j. 7

Next (as is often said when making another announcement), I am pleased to announce that I have selected the following song from the requests made by readers of Part 1 to be played in Part 2, which I am pleased to announce totaled one request, which was a considerable help in deciding the final choice. So, after much soul searching — not to mention weeping and gnashing of my remaining teeth — here is the request winner:

But wait — there’s more! I have my own favorite song from the list. Composed by Eubie Blake with lyrics by Andy Razaf, here is MEMORIES OF YOU, with vocal refrain:

I close with the 1930 instrumental version played by Eubie Blake & His Orchestra:



At the end of Part 04 of this series, I said it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, which wouldn’t happen until Part 05. Unfortunately, the fat lady has yet to show (something must be holding her up), so I’ll have to put Part 05 on hold. Meanwhile….

If you’re not having any fun, what’s holding you back? It’s good to let loose. For example….

….and Dance Around in Your Bones.

Think dancing sans skin is a stretch? Mark my words — stranger things have happened:

Getting back to the fat lady, I can feel it in my bones that she’ll show up soon — hopefully, in skin and singing. After all, who ever heard it’s not over until the fat lady dances (the very thought sends shivers down my spine). Verily, the future end of this series hangs in the balance. Give me (Post) five.


The first three posts in this series have been monopolized by guys, so what…do you say we turn to the gals for amusement? What a muse meant by that remark is more songs of the same type, but with ladies leading the way — as with this girl-before-boy title tune:

Beatrice Kay (1907-86), for the benefit of those who have never been to She-boy-gan, Paducah, Elmira, or Tacoma, was a NYC-born singer specializing in parodies of songs which, in some cases, have seen better days — but then, haven’t we all?

The quarrel of the story is that no matter what depths of depravity women fall into, men are to blame for it all (with the possible exception of mistermuse’s male followers). Therefore….

So, men, let us close by resolving to resist lady fingers, she’s-cake and all other such she-nanigans (no matter how tempting), O-Kay? However, this does not mean that Part 04 is the end of this series. If that’s what you were thinking, I have news for youse guys: it’s not over until the fat lady sings. You’ll have to wait 4 Part 05 be4 that happens.


My next guest in this series is a bunch
of 1930s musicians* who had a hunch
that most orchestras of that time
played less than lofty and sublime
so they formed a band whose bliss was
to fashion high-class music such as this was:

Speaking of a bunch, do you like bananas? I like bananas, no bones about it. Here’s why:

And now for a little traveling music….

Well, if you ask me, that’s taking traveling a bit too far. Why wander the world in limbo with limbs akimbo when I can settle down with a bimbo down on the Bamboo Isle?

And with that, Isle see ya next time, music lovers.