Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blue Moon

Late yesterday afternoon as I went out for mail and a few groceries, I saw the moon as it rose into view over Oak Hill. An enormous perfectly round white disk, not a ball as it appeared to be as flat as an old 33 rpm record. And it looked thin as if it were some very finely spun tulle. I could almost imagine I could see through it. Later, at home, when I put my Nick out for "last call" it was high in the sky, and the yard was very light. NOW - this morning when I woke a little before six o'clock, that moon was just settling down in the western sky, as white and lovely as last night. And first light was just showing in the east. It is the kind of circumstance which makes me wish I lived high on a hill so I could view the moon as it came over the earth's rim, and again as it settled down over the other side. I was told the rare second moon in any one month is called a "Blue Moon." But recently the weather persons (politically correct!) have said it is called a "Hollywood Moon."

This, being the fifth Saturday of the month, would have been a bonus music day for my usual gathering. However, last week my natural knee ( as opposed to the artificial one) became an issue and I was hobbling around with a knee brace most of the week. But Thursday night I rolled over and something snapped and from then on the knee improved. Now I don't have a prayer that it is cured, but at the least it will give me a little more time to prepare for the dreaded and inevitable replacement ordeal. Enough about me and back to BLUE MOON.

BLUE MOON is a beautiful song written in collaboration by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, those two prolific musicians who created hundreds of memorable pieces that will never grow old.

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,
Without a dream in my heart,
Without a love of my own.
Blue Moon, you knew just what I was there for,
you heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for.
And then suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold.
I heard somebody whisper, "Please adore me"
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold.
Blue Moon, Now I'm no longer alone,
Without a dream in my heart,
Without a love of my own.

While I don't stand under a blue moon "praying for some one to adore me", I can appreciate the sentiment. If I knew how to "paste" the music to this blog, I would do so. However, if you are interested in having a copy add your interest at the bottom of the blog, or contact me at A nice arrangement is in an old publication expressly for Lowrey Co. by Robbins Music, circa 1959. It is in E-Z Play in a Lowrey (Hal Leonard) book, I think it is #339. Most music stores can now instantly print out sheet music "on demand" for a modest price.

Lorenz Hart: Born in Harlem to Jewish immigrants in 1895, Hart met Rodgers in Columbia University. The two of them wrote songs for a series of amateur and student productions. In 1919 they composed "Any Old Place With You" which was included in the Broadway musical "A Lonely Romeo." In 1925 they produced "The Garrick Gaieties" which put them on the road to success.
Blue Moon is only one of many, many successful and beautiful songs credited to the team. Lorenz Hart was all three, composer, songwriter and playwright. His lyrics have been praised for their wit and technical sophistication. He struggled with being homosexual, understandable in times when that was not accepted openly, and passed away in 1943 after a final teaming with Rodgers for a revival of Connecticut Yankee. A biopic Words and Music was produced in 1948 by MGM and is said to be "heavily sanitized and romanticized."

Richard Rodgers: Unlike Hart, Rodgers was the son of a prosperous Jewish family in Queens in 1902. He married,and had three daughters (one died at birth). Rodgers is credited with having composed some 900 songs, mostly doing the music with others composing the lyrics. Richard Rodgers is one of only two persons to have won and Oscar, a Grammy, and Emmy, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize. (The other is Marvin Hamlisch.) He spent his early teenage summers at Camp Wigwam in Waterford, Maine where he composed some of his first songs. Rodgers' daughter Mary, ios the composer of Once Upon a Mattress; two of his grandsons are award winning composers. Rodgers died in 1979.

We are all well met "....where music and moonlight and feeling are one..."

Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


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