This week the online gambling industry pledged to halt all radio and TV advertising during lockdown – obviously this must have been in response to the performance of Fugue for Tinhorns as our Sin No.2, Gambling, posted here a couple of weeks ago. Incidents of Travel is proud to be altering the behaviour of big business through the power of show tunes. Well done everyone.
By the way, I meant to say on the last post: whenever a new project emerged on the blog during my months cycling across Canada, such as Ironic Cycling Film Titles, or Marginal Changes To Famous Songs, it was the contributions from all of you, the Friends Of The Blog, that made it all work. So, should anyone have a song title spring to mind over your morning coffee, one that seems to fit your own personal list of lockdown-foibles, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and I’ll see if we can rustle up a version for you. No promises.
Let’s see if we can have the same lobbying power with our next offering…
Spending a lot of time cooped up together can be a bit stressful at times, so today’s choice was a fairly easy one – the 4th Deadly Sin of Lockdown is:
4. ARGUING – There’s a scene in the 1936 film ‘Swing Time’, starring Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, where Fred and Ginger are in the middle of an argument.
“You’d better get out of here!”, warns Ginger from her bathroom, finally losing her cool with Fred. She gets ready to wash her hair, as Fred tries to placate her from outside the closed bathroom door: “Maybe I was wrong the other night..” he says. He apologises, says goodbye, and starts to leave. “Wait a minute!”, calls Ginger, “…maybe I might have been wrong…”. “No, this one is on me!”, says Fred, laughing nervously. “Listen, there’s no use arguing!”, snaps Ginger, irritated. “I’m not!” Says Fred. “Oh yes you are!”, and they’re off again.
Finally Fred says “Alright, goodbye!” one last time, waits for a reply, but by now she’s giving him the silent treatment. He has an idea…he treads the floor loudly a few times as if leaving, then stops. “Wait a minute!”, cries Ginger again, her hair now lathered with shampoo but worried that this time he has really left. He doesn’t answer, but instead walks silently to the piano – there’s always a piano – and sings the most beautiful apology ever written, with a lyric that would melt the hardest heart. The song is The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern, lyrics by the great Dorothy Fields . “The first time Jerry played that melody for me,”, said Fields years later, “I went out and started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn’t stop, it was so beautiful.” The song was an instant hit, going straight to the top of the charts, and went on to win the 1936 Oscar for Best Original Song.
This is a song that is dripping with ‘firsts’ for this blog: it’s our first instrumental-only offering (to hear those sublime lyrics, you’ll need to watch the clip from the movie at the end of this post); our first social-distancing collaboration, featuring the silky trombone skills of Mr Douglas Coleman, coming to us from a few miles away here in Hertfordshire (he posted a lovely solo of the tune on his facebook page, and I couldn’t resist suggesting we have a crack at it with harmony); a first, for me anyway, of sticking a capo on the uke to boost the whole thing up a minor third to the key of Eb; we’ve gone all Acapella/splitscreen/etc. for a change; and finally, we’ve even managed to sneak in a tiny bit of another show tune. Correct answers win a bag of Minstrels. We hope you enjoy it.
One last thing before you click the link below: look out for Doug’s perfect trombonist’s entry – he slides in. (I’m also keen on the way the slide of the trombone comes out to meet you, like a 3-D movie special effect….DUCK!!!)
My favourite moment from the movie version of the song is right at the end, as Ginger creeps out silently from the bathroom to listen to this gorgeous song, her hair now a mass of soap suds, ending up right by his side as he sings the final words “…Just the way you look to-night”. He looks up, and just for a beat they stare lovingly into each other’s eyes, before he glances up at her hair and his smile suddenly fades. She’s confused for a moment, then catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror, and runs out. You can’t help feeling sorry for them.
There is a (temporary) way out of lockdown – just click on the picture below to travel 4,500 miles from coast to coast across a continent, without leaving the comfort of your armchair!