Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today's cd/Rosemary Clooney Sings Ballads

One of the great things about my new Beetle is the cd player in the front. The old car had a six-cd changer, but it was way in the back. It didn't like bumps in the road, it didn't like cold weather, and I found it impossible to learn how to put in the cds. So, now I am in music heaven as I drive along. Mostly I play the old standards, the ones I can sing along with, such as the songs on this cd. Rosemary Clooney was, is, and always will be my favorite "girl singer," as she titled her 1999 autobiography. Today as I drove to a farmer's market a bit further away to meet a friend, I felt the time changing. I expected to see older cars on the road. I was transported back to the days when these songs were on the radio. And what songs they are! I looked up the word ballad, and this is the definition: a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Each of these songs does tell a story. Thanks For The Memory is a tale of a couple meeting again after many years. They reminisce about places they went together and things they did.

Many's the time that we feasted
and many's the time when we fasted
Oh well, it was swell while it lasted
We did have fun, and no harm done.

We who could laugh over big things
were parted by only a slight thing
I wonder if we did the right thing
No doubt we did; of course we did.

And at the end, Rosemary lowers her voice, and sings:

And strictly entre nous, darling how are you?
and how are the little dreams that never did come true?
awfully glad I met you
cheerio and toodle-oo
I thank you so much.

Whew! It brings tears to my eyes. Regret, wondering what if? And she tells it like no other.

She sings The Shadow of Your Smile, from a favorite movie of mine, The Sandpiper. Another song of lost love, remembered with such fondness.

The shadow of your smile when you are gone
Will color all my dreams and light the dawn.

One of the best songs ever is on this album: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley (British pronunciation - Bark) Square. Oh, talk about time travel. I'm back there in "London Town."

And as we kissed and said goodnight,
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.

This collection of little short stories ends with one of the all time great songs: It Never Entered My Mind, a song about loss, and how she never, ever imagined they would break up, and what life is like now. So sad, so perfect.

You have what I lack myself
and now I even have to scratch my back myself

Here is the whole list of songs:

Thanks For The Memory
Here's That Rainy Day
The Shadow Of Your Smile
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
The Days Of Wine And Roses
Easy Living
Spring Is Here
Why Shouldn't I
It Never Entered My Mind

I have a lot of Rosemary Clooney albums, each of them wonderful, but this one tops my list. Each song is indeed a little story, a happy one or a sad one, sung so beautifully. This was recorded when she was in her fifties, in 1985. Her voice is more mature; she has lived these songs and shares the experiences with us.


  1. Lovely choice...I've got a number of Clooney cd's and albums. How I love all those old songs! Funny that "Thanks for the Memory" was co-opted by Bob Hope and is only now being resurrected since he's not around to camp it up with comic lyrics. I have it on one of the Rod Stewart American Songbook cd's. Very nice! By the way, Hope's initial rendition (in the movie Big Broadcast of 1938) was sung seriously and with feeling.

  2. Oh, she's a favorite of mine also. Such a warm voice. I'm an ipod girl and am constantly downloading "old" stuff! It's so atmospheric! You're so right, I ride down the road a little unsure of the decade!

  3. How nostalgic! Those songs are lovely and my father always said "toodle-oo" as he left the house for work. Thanks for the memory.


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