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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bursting into song

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

Every once in a while, I like to burst into song. My favorite burst is “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” like the original Platters used to sing. That’s the original Platters not the ones that come around with the same name as they have succumbed to the “louder the music the better it is” dogma. My way is the more softer tones.  One thing that is certain when I do break into song is that The Blonde in the House comes into the room to ask if I am OK. Usually, I am.  I mean I don’t smoke, drink or take drugs so I am typically in pretty good shape. I will admit that I don’t know all the words to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” or any of the tune, but I try and that’s what counts.

Actually, there is only one song to which I know all the words – “Mairzy Doats”.

Anybody who recalls that song knows that it is one of the best of our generation – or at least my generation. I can perform quite a stunning rendition of that song which can bring a startled expression to the eyes of the most sophisticated music lover. I just love to ring out the stanza that goes “And little lambs eat ivy”.  In fact, just last Sunday I was talking to one of our church’s music people.  I told her that if they needed anyone to sing Mairzy Doats at a service that I was the man.  She turned away and muttered something that sounded like I was a “whack-a-doodle”. I was momentarily hurt, but then I realized that she probably didn’t recall about the lambs.  There are lambs in the Bible you know.  I imagine that I will hear from her shortly.

There is a reason for all of the above reminiscing.  It relates to the fact that a bunch of us were sitting around and someone mentioned how we used to sit around the piano and sing the old songs. There are lots of them that Como, Sinatra, Crosby, Williams, and others used to sing. They were easy to learn since you could understand the words.  In addition, you did not go deaf while listening as they played on the radio day after day.  The group agreed that singing the old songs was lots of fun.  Then someone wondered what the young folks of today were going to do when they were old and wanted to sit around the piano and sing.  I know that most of you who are reading this know of the great popular songs of today. For example, there is “Dance Monkey” by the Tones and I. Or how about “Dakiti” by Bad Bunny, or “Good Days” by SZA.

The latter songs probably stir the emotions of today’s generation, but what will happen forty or fifty years from now. No one will remember the words because you can’t understand them to start with – unless you have very superior discriminating hearing.  This means that if they sit around the piano hoping to sing their old favorites, they are going to have to have sheet music with the lyrics printed on them.  Now forty-fifty years from now, how many people to you think are going to have the sheet music of Dance Monkey.  If they go to a music store to see if they can buy one, the clerk will laugh and say, “Sorry old timer nobody has sheet music anymore”.

I feel sorry for those poor folks!  To end this, I might mention that I can also do a great job on “Oklahoma” – well at least the title part.

Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com.

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