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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “I love teaching, and I love the exchange. And I’m starting to accept my role as a mentor. That sounds weird to say. But I can’t avoid the fact that there are younger musicians who are watching me.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Mike Gibbs: “Rehearsals are a chance for players to learn my degree of vagueness.” – (Jazzwise September 2017).


Today Wednesday September 20

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
Tees Hot Club - Cleveland Bay, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE. 9pm. Free.
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lyrics and Rhymes

Apart from the wonderful music, the Gasbook contains some of the greatest poetry and rhyming couplets of the 20th century.
One of my favorites is "Our veranda will command a view of meadows green the kind of view that's simply got to be seen" - Folks Who Live on the Hill music Jerome Kern lyric Oscar Hammerstein II.
Anne DeVere Harper likes "My bones denounce the buckboard's bounce and the cactus hurts my toes" - Buttons and Bows - m. Jay Livingstone l. Ray Evans.
What's your favourite?


  1. I admire

    -the audacity/corniness of drama/glamour/hammer as rhymes for Alabama in Frank Perkins' lyrics for 'Stars Fell on Alabama'

    - the crazy modulation in the bridge on 'a fairyland no one can enter'

    - the careless clunkiness of 'arms wound you tight'

  2. from Kiss me Kate by Cole Porter

    Mister Harris plutocrat
    wants to give my cheek a pat
    If a Harris pat means a Paris hat
    whey hey!
    (actually all the verses in this number are clever!!

    1. very clever and Porter was an Ace at Lyrics

  3. Love is WRONG
    it sings a hopeless SONG
    it LONGS for bitter disappointment and Tears and Tears
    it calls to all that used to be
    while it yearn for someone who
    was tender, but untrue.
    From Bad and Beautiful. Music by David Raksin Words by Dory Previn.

  4. "Gus Kahn's lyric for Matty Malneck - the wretching, defeatest moment in popular song:

    Why did you lead me to think you could care?
    You didn't need me, you had your share
    Of slaves around you to hound you and swear
    With deep emotion, devotion to you.

    Goodbye to spring and all it meant for me
    It can never bring the thing that used to be
    For I must have you or no one
    And so I'm through with love."

  5. Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice, warmer than the summer night
    The clouds were like an alabaster palace, rising to a snowy height
    Each star its own aurora borealis, suddenly you held me tight
    I could see the midnight sun.
    Music by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke. Words by Johnny Mercer.

  6. From Joni Mitchell's A Strange Boy:

    What a strange, strange boy
    He sees the cars as sets of waves
    Sequences of mass and space
    He sees the damage in my face

    We got high on travel and we got drunk on alcohol
    And on love the strongest poison and medicine of all

    See how that feeling comes and goes
    Like the pull of moon on tides
    Now I am surf rising
    Now parched ribs of sand at his side

  7. Dave - you beat me to it! Midnight Sun.

  8. Dave Frishberg writes some lovely, witty and clever lyrics. From 'Dear Bix' -
    "Bix old friend, will you ever learn to comprehend,
    you're no ordinary, standard, B flat, run of the mill type guy". The rest of the song is just as good.
    And from Johnny Mercer
    "Ah the apple trees,
    sunlit memories,
    where the hammock swung.
    On our backs we'd lie,
    looking at the sky,
    till the stars were strung,
    only last July
    when the world was young".


  9. I get along without you very well
    Of course I do
    Except when soft rains fall
    And drip from leaves, then I recall
    The thrill of being sheltered in your arms
    Of course, I do
    But I get along without you very well
    Music Hoagy Carmichael from a poem by Jane Brown Thompson


  10. "...Those come what may places
    Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life,
    To get the feel of life...
    From jazz and cocktails."
    Lush Life - Billy Strayhorn music and lyric.

  11. My contribution is from the Dave Frishberg song "My Swan Song" which is the story of a songwriter losing his ability to come up with new songs and contains the following lines.
    "Once I popped them out like waffles
    the good ones and the awfuls,
    a new one every day
    But now I find I'm uninspired
    my wig's no longer wired,
    I've nothing left to say
    But I'll say it anyway"
    I reckon this is lyric writing at its very best

  12. I miss u most of all my darling
    when Autumn Leaves start to fall.
    By Johnny Mercer.

  13. oh so many line that always makes me smile is:-

    "and now I even have to scratch my back myself"

    Ella Fitzgerald, It Never Entered My Mind, Rodgers And Hart

  14. I'll forget you, I will
    While yet you are still burning inside my brain.
    Romance is mush,
    Stifling those who strive.
    I'll live a lush life in some small dive...
    And there I'll be, while I rot
    With the rest of those whose lives are lonely, too..
    Billy Strayhorn.

  15. From 'You don't know , what love is..' Raye/De Paul
    'You don't know how lips hurt
    Until you've kissed and had to pay the cost
    Until you've flipped your heart and you have lost
    You don't know what love is'

  16. One of my favourites is from Rogers and Hart, I Wish I Were In Love Again:

    "When love congeals it soon reveals the faint aroma of performing seals"

  17. And the follow on line Paul -
    The double crossing of a pair of heels
    A quadrupel rhyme!
    Then there's another verse;
    The endless waits, the broken dates,
    the loving loving and the hateful hates
    the conversation with the flying plates
    Man Shakespeare had nothing on these guys!

  18. Like a diamond cutter who's lost his nerve.....I misstruck and turned to dust,
    from perfect jewel to broken trust.
    (Speaking about hurting a loved one)
    Long Ago and Far Away by Jesse Frederick.

  19. Oh dear! So many. Let me think. Oh, wait. It's Dylan. "Well, I saw him Makin' love to you
    You forgot to close the garage door"
    & actually all the lyrics to Leopardskin Pillbox Hat

  20. There's loads but I love the images conjured up by Cole Porter's 'You're The Top' eg 'you're a melody from a symphony by Strauss'.
    And I love the rhyming of
    'You told me you were through with me an'
    told me love was so plebeian.'
    from 'Cry Me A River'.
    This is such a clever rhyme by Arthur Hamilton,
    the sort of rhyme used by the poet Byron for amusing effect.

  21. I have eyes for you to give you dirty looks
    I have words that do not come from children's books
    There's a trick with a knife I'm learning to do
    And ev'rything I've got belongs to you.
    Larry Hart
    Is your figure less than Greek?
    Is your mouth a little weak?
    When you open it to speak
    Are you small?
    Hart again.

  22. Your 'Lyrics & Rhymes' recalled a humorous memory.
    Back in the 70's, banjo player Clive Gray and myself played in a band on board 'The Northumbrian', a floating bar and restaurant which was berthed at Friar's Goose in Gateshead.
    The boat's night watchman was an elderly, down-at-heel, Irish itinerant named Dixie. Dixie usually spent his evenings in a nearby pub called The Ship and was always 'well served' when he came on board to begin his night duties.
    One of the regular customers at that time, would occasionally join the band to sing 'You're in Kentucky sure as you're born' and when he sang the following lyrics Clive and myself would fall apart with laughter:
    'If you wake at dawn amid glistening dew
    And find old Dixie kissing you
    You're in Kentucky sure as you're born'
    (Words & music by George A Little, Haven Gillespie & Larry Shay)
    The Northumbrian was owned by a syndicate which included 2 businessmen from South Shields who I believe were the 'head honchos' - Captain Frank McNulty, a boatyard owner and Bill Collwell, a retired police detective who also owned a newsagent's shop on The Nook at Marsden.
    Bill and Frank were kind, generous men. They looked after and cared about Dixie who was essentially a homeless tramp.
    I wonder if anyone in Gateshead remembers Dixie?

  23. Ooh, just thought of another one, slightly outwith (just a bit to the left) of the GASbook, by one Tom Waits. The dark as a dark thing in a coalhole Uncle Vernon/Cemetery Polka

    Uncle Vernon, Uncle Vernon
    Independent as a hog on ice
    He's a big shot down there at the slaughterhouse
    He plays accordion for Mr. Weiss
    Uncle Bittmore and Uncle William
    Made a million during World War II
    But they're tightwads and they're cheap skates
    And they'll never give a dime to you


  24. Ah so many to choose from but
    "You go to my head, and you linger like a haunting refrain,And I find you spinning 'round in my brain,
    Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne.
    You go to my head, like a sip of sparkling Burgundy brew, And I find the very mention of you like the kicker in a Julip or two" Words and Music by Haven Gillespie and J.Fred Coots
    Just off for a glass of wine - sparkling of course!

  25. How did I miss this one out?
    "Write to the Brown's just as soon as you're able,
    they came around to call.
    I burnt a hole in the dining room table.
    now let me see, I guess that's all.
    Nothing left for me to say
    and so I'll close and by the way,
    everybody's thinking of you
    PS I love you."
    OMG I'm getting all emotional as I type!
    PS I Love You by, Music Gordon Jenkins and lyric Johnny Mercer - again!

  26. and this:
    Hey there cutes, put on your dancin' boots
    and come dance with me
    Come dance with me, what an evening for
    Some Terpsichore

    Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen, Lyrics by Sammy Khan

  27. The first line of the verse of Stardust by Mitchell Parrish:-
    And now the purple dusk of twilight time
    Steals across the meadow of my heart.

    The genius of Cole Porter in Kiss Me Kate with Brush Up Your Shakespeare, with my favourite lines
    If she says your behavior is heinous
    Kick her right in the Coriolanus
    Brush up your Shakespeare
    And they'll all kow tow.

  28. They keep popping up - got out of bed to post this one!
    Keep Betty Grable, Lamour and Turner
    She makes my heart a charcoal burner
    No angel can replace
    My Nancy with the laughing face.
    Music Jimmy Van Heusen. lyric Phil Silvers.

  29. I should care, I should go around weeping
    I should care, I should go without sleeping
    Strangely enough, I sleep well
    'cept for a dream or two
    But then I count my sheep well
    Funny how sheep can lull you to sleep
    So I should care, I should let it upset me
    I should care but it just doesn't get me
    Maybe I won't find someone as lovely as you
    But I should care and I do


    other than the greats already mentioned: I THINK CAROLYN LEIGH IS BRILLIANT: "out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum" WOW. OR HER LYRIC FOR "HOW LITTLE WE KNOW" "how little we understand what touches off that tingle..that sudden explosion when two tingles intermingle"

    OR ...IN WHEN IN ROME..."don't deplore my fondness for know how a fundador can lead to a few" LEAVE IT TO CAROLYN LEIGH TO KNOW OF THE BUZZ FROM THIS LESSER KNOWN SPANISH BRANDY!!

    un abrazo fuerte,

  31. Sorry for my late response. Just returned from a family holiday. So here is my spontaneous selection from the song Speak Low by Kurt Weil and Ogden Nash:

    We're late, darling, we're late
    The curtain descends, ev'rything ends too soon, too soon
    I wait, darling, I wait
    Will you speak low to me, speak love to me and soon?

    It doesn't come with an unusual rhyme but I like the open end of the last line of the song.

  32. One lyric which tickled my funny bone And the band behind me (you could hear the muffled guffaws) was----
    I'll hold out my hand
    and my heart will be in it!!!!!
    "For All We Know". Music Fred Coots, Lyric Sam M. Lewis.

  33. I've mortgaged all my castles in the air..
    Everything Happens to Me - Matt Dennis.


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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: I look forward to hearing from you.