LAZY DAY STRAINS

strain, to use to the utmost; damage or weaken by too much tension, pressure, or force
strains,
 a part of a piece of music; melody; song; tune  –The World Book Dictionary

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August 10 is LAZY DAY. Don’t ask me who the originator is, or why LAZY DAY is on this particular day — today, I is too lazy to care. All I know is, it’s a good day to post a post over which I’ve pondered as poco* as possible. Mind you, when your brain avoids work as strenuously as mine strains to avoid strain, it deserves arrest — correction: a rest.

Thus, I bid you adieu without further ado (except for a tune or two), and leave the rest to You(tube).

Here, Hoagy Carmichael sings a song he wrote, as another guy tries to keep a level head:

Thank you, friends, for that tremendous ovalation**– that calls for a curtain call. So, what’s got me in a lazy mood? FOREWARNING: the answer is a four-letter word (not counting a ‘postrophe s):

*poco: Spanish for little (as in a poco loco in the coco).
**ovalation: an ovation during which a round of applause takes on an oval shape

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THINK NOTHING OF IT

Seeing as how July 26 is ALL OR NOTHING DAY, I realized ALL OR NOTHING is as good a subject as any to post about today. A good thing too, as the only thing that had come to mind was nothing, otherwise this post might be about something, which at this point is something I want nothing to do with, as a post about something would be worth nothing unless nothing is the something I want to post something about nothing about.

Speaking of ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL, I subsequently came upon a dissertation by one Farouk Radwan, MSc, about all-or-nothing thinking, which may explain one way why The King of Self-Trumpeting Liars, Donald Trump, is the way he is. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, this may be more than you want to know (and certainly more than Trump knows, or would admit if he DID know), but I can stand it if you can:

“Narcissism is one of the causes of the all or nothing way of thinking. Being a narcissist either devalues people and considers them worthless, or thinks highly of them” [like how The Donald devalues Robert Mueller but thinks highly of his no-bargain Attorney General, William Barr?].

Anyway — after much ado about nothing — I close with the Trump badministration’s theme song*:

*composed in the year 1934 B.T. (Before Trump) by Cole Porter, including these oh-so-apt-today lyrics:

The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today
And black’s white today
And day’s night today

So ANYTHING GOES, but TRUMP STAYS? That can’t be good, or my name is Cole Porter.

 

 

FOOL PROOF

fool’s paradise, a state of contentment based on delusive or false hopes. –WEBSTER’S NEW COLLEGE DICTIONARY

A fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell! –Thomas Fuller, English churchman/historian

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July 13 is FOOL’S PARADISE DAY. If ever there was a day to get a handle on the “state” Donald Trump adherents live in, this is that day. Other than living in a “Fool’s Paradise,” how else to account for them being oblivious to what is patently obvious: The Donald is a sick excuse for a human being (much less a President) whose lies, corrupt morality, bullying, ethical poverty, and colossal narcissism do not matter because the economy happens to be booming (“booming” to whose benefit is apparently beside the point).

Fortunately for America, I know a few eye-opening songs to bring a “fool proof” Trump adherent to his/her senses if he/she will only give the songs’ words an ear and take them to heart….which shouldn’t be asking too much because, as we all know, Trumpies would give an arm and a leg to do the ‘right thing for their country. Left with this admonition….

….how can the devoted Don fan of November 2016 (having now been exposed to cool cats, and hopefully less gullible) not begin to think in terms of Don the Con Man and ask….

Cool cat or cool fool, still believe The Donald hasn’t played you for a total sucker? Pause and consider this Trumpian truism come election day, November 3, 2020:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

LOESSER IS MORE

Yet do much less, so much less….Well, less is more. –Robert Browning, from his poem titled Andrea del Sarto

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The phrase “Less is more” was popularized by architect Ludwig Miles van der Rohe (1886-1969), but goes back to at least 1855, when Robert Browning penned it in the poem quoted above. I bring it up here because today is the birthday (6/29/1910-7/25/69) of a Loesser who is more: Frank Loesser, a ‘more better’ song and lyric writer than the past majority of his contemporaries….worthy, in other words, of being remembered on this day.

In the spirit of “less is more,” I’m going to skip over the particulars of the Loesser life (if interested, here’s a link to bio info: http://frankloesser.com/bio/ ). I also recommend a delightful Loesser biography written by his daughter, Susan Loesser, titled A MOST REMARKABLE FELLA: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life.

Here, I would like to spotlight songs from Loesser musicals I particularly enjoy, starting with this rockin’ tune from my favorite Loesser musical, GUYS AND DOLLS:

Continuing, how’s about we MAKE A MIRACLE (from the musical WHERE’S CHARLEY?):

Perhaps I’m pressing my luck to squeeze in one more song, but I BELIEVE IN YOU*

*from HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

My business here is done. I hope I’ve succeeded in entertaining you….with really trying.

 

 

SCREENINGS FOR ELLA

“….any day with Ella Fitzgerald is a grand day. ….that song [is] another one I hadn’t heard before.” –from a June 13 comment to my last (June 6th) post by Silver Screenings (a blog published by ‘Ruth’)

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In my reply to Ruth, I noted that with June 15 nearing (the 23rd anniversary of Ella’s death), I’d use the occasion to post a remembrance, including clips of other songs she may not have heard Ella sing. Over the years, I’ve probably done over a dozen Ella clips, including a half dozen in my April 25th post titled THE FIRST LADY OF SONG. After screening a few previous Ella posts to try to avoid repetition, hopefully the songs that follow will fall fresh on Ruth’s ‘Ella-fan-true’ ears (as opposed to mistermuse’s Elephant ears).

Let’s start with an early Ella (as ‘girl’ vocalist with Chick Webb’s Orchestra in April 1936):

Next, we turn from the swinging Ella to a more dreamy Ella:

Before you tune out, I know some of you guys aren’t fans of my kind of music (or the songbirds who warble it), so next time I’ll consider a return to posting about your (and Mexico’s) favorite tweeter of note, Donaldo el Trumpo — mean-o-while, I bid you a fond….

IF I WERE A MITCH MAN

Remember this song from “Fiddler On The Roof?” —

I bring this up because IF I WERE A RICH MAN made me think of U.S. Senate Majority Leader MITCH McConnell and wonder if there’s a satirical song substituting the word “Mitch” for “Rich” in the song title? So I did a Google, and though the search for IF I WERE A MITCH MAN led nowhere, I did find this:

Sorry about that. There must be a better song (or at least, a less depressing one) with a politician’s name in the title. In fact, I happen to know of a few such songs, and if I were a pitch man, here’s one I could plug to lead you out of Mitch depression:

Remember that, as FDR said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself (except, of course, the fear that The Donald could be re-elected). Hence I elect to sing the praises of my candidate to oppose Trump….

Yes, The Donald will soon find that he has met his match, man. The Wintergreen of his discontent fast approaches. Eat your hearts(?) out, Donald and Mitch man.

 

THE FIRST LADY OF SONG

The only thing better than singing is more singing. –Ella Fitzgerald

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Today marks the birthday (4/25/1917) of one of my all-time favorite female jazz vocalists, Ella Fitzgerald. Nearly forty years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing/hearing The First Lady of Song (as she was fittingly known) when she was appearing in San Francisco at a time I happened to be there. Her performance that night confirmed what I’d dug from decades of collecting her records and listening to her sing and interpret lyrics as only she could.

Ella, my musical muse and soulmate in song, for all the ‘spiritual’ pleasure you brought (and continue to bring) me and countless other fans over the years, this post is….

Like the Lady said at the start, the only thing better than singing is more singing (especially when It’s Wonderful singing):

I first got hooked on (and continue to love) Ella’s feel for a song as the ‘girl’ vocalist with Chick Webb’s Band in the mid-to-late 1930s. Even before reaching stardom, there was little doubt she meant it when she expressed….

….and then she became the band’s BIG attraction when her rendition of A-TISKET, A TASKET became a #1 hit in 1938. Later in her career, Ella’s vocals evolved into more of a scat-singing style, but I didn’t scat from evolving with her and echoing….

….and I hope it’s all right with you.