Irving Berlin, "Always"
I have fallen behind in my blog, and I assume this won't be the last time. Part of what kept me from writing was a great thing to witness—history being made, as Hillary Clinton accepted nomination for president, the first woman in the history of my country to receive that honor; but mostly I fell behind spending time with my sisters unboxing things I inherited from Mother, and anticipating the blooming of the hollyhocks (they are all in bud).
So I am behind—but I have backup, and a plan.
A month ago, in my week devoted to American art song, I wrote a post titled Isn't It Romantic, and in it I introduced you to Michael Feinstein: "Feinstein," I wrote, "with his ernest voice and his considerable talent, has dedicated his career to finding lost songs; he sings them, and by doing so, he brings them forward to a new generation: he gives them new life." My plan, for when I'm behind, is to return to Michael Feinstein and help him bring his songs forward by bringing them to you.
Writing posts about these songs will take just as much time as any other: but at least I won't have to wonder what to write about (I spent two hours tonight listening to song after song, and thinking: "I'll save that for Hungarian classical music week"; or "I'll save that for movie theme song week," etc.). These songs I have settled on, and Feinstein's renditions of them, are so beautiful that you will end up wishing I am often behind.
In those years before I met Drew, I used to torture myself with Feinstein's plaintive, often melancholy songs, each about loneliness and a longing for love and companionship. Now, hearing Feinstein sing them again, I can listen without all the emptiness I felt in those, it seemed at the time, endless days. You might think that odd because I am alone now and have been for fourteen years, but I find there is a certain enduring peace that comes from once loving and being loved in return.
So, tonight, Irving Berlin's "Always," a song Berlin wrote in 1925 for his wife when they were to be married.
Here is a link to Michael Feinstein singing "Always," from his 2000 album Romance on Film, Romance on Broadway:
I created "Melt Me into Tears," the image above, in 2006. It is based on Mandelbrot fractals. The title is from "Music," a poem by the English poet Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674):
Begin to charm, and as thou strok'st mine ears
With thine enchantment, melt me into tears.