Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6/22/10 - Songs of the Summer, #13-14 - "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" and "The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart)"

The Master List: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-songs-of-the-summer-1940-2010

Top Song of 1952: "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" by Vera Lynn


Boy, do I dread those swelling strings that start this song. There are certain musical motifs that establish themselves in different periods of hit songs that have a certain knack for driving a person crazy. For example, Auto-Tune. In the '50s era, the dramatic strings intro instantly fires up all of my reflexive ironic responses. After the dramatic intro, the chorus of voices singing "Auf Wiedersehn" doesn't exactly throttle back on the melodrama. And then, to top it off, you've got Vera Lynn coming in with vibrato at full blast. For someone like myself that came of age when irony was the dominant mode of expression in the musical idiom ("I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me", etc.), it takes some getting used to the kind of open-hearted melodrama in a song like this. Nowadays it would be a seven-minute Celine Dion song, but in the summer of '52 it was a relatively tidy 2:48 of Vera on the vibrato.

One thing I do love about the '40s and '50s so far, and this song is no exception, is their brevity. So far no song has cracked the 3 minute mark, and songs have no compunction about only hitting a chorus twice before the song ends. Leave the people wanting more, indeed.

Top Song of 195"Where Is Your Heart" by Percy Faith


I'm going to digress on this one a little bit. Having never seen Moulin Rouge, in either of its forms, this song wasn't one I knew. It's very pretty, with a swooning main melody hook with a bittersweet air. But click that YouTube link: the comments there are amazingly and atypically wistful and romantic, which speaks better to the people's responses to this song than any words of mine:

"It was pop in the 50s, soft to the ears and
sealed deep in the hearts of then young
lovers..."

"After thoroughly enjoying this beautiful music I thought to myself --if performed/recorded for the first time today, it'd be all but ignored--. Kinda sad commentary on us really...perhaps just too much brandy...
Thanks"

"This was my dads favorite song. He heard it as a soldier in Korea in 1952. I miss you every day Dad and all of us miss you so much. You were the best dad a son could ever wish for."

"A lovely video the song taking me down memory lane again. Thanks for posting."

"this song was #1 on the music charts the day I was born. I just found out and wanted to hear the song.Very beautiful.Thanyou for posting."

And, for comparison's sake, some comments on "Bad Romance", by Lady Gaga:

"shes so kewl luv her!!!!!!!!!!!"

"@LouieWasHere66 You're just hating cuz she's so famous and your not you stupid bitch what if you were in this video? you a lame ass!!!"

"OmG what is this?
Is this music...I ....NO!!
Why do peaple listen to this?"

"Excelente Video..."

1 comment:

ariyele said...

i'm confused. what are you meant to be comparing with comments?