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     Please excuse my late summer respite, but I am back now, hopefully with more regular, if not precisely weekly, Weekly Tunes.  I chose one that has been on my mind lately and though you might not recognize the title, I suspect you’ve it heard it.  It’s Cole Porter’s Mind If I Make Love To You?, the song that Frank Sinatra sang to Grace Kelly around the pool in the movie High Society when they were both, as Frank’s character put it, the little the worse for wine.

     We were watching the movie some time back and the scene and the song struck me.  Kelly and Sinatra are both at the height of their charm and despite the comedy of their tipsiness, the scene is palpably, if subtly sexy.  (Not as hotly intense perhaps as when Captain von Trappe asks Fraulein Maria to dance with him instead of the children, but pretty steamy nonetheless.)

     In any case, Mind If I Make Love To You? is now so obscure that I was surprised to find it in the back of my Cole Porter book.  It’s Porter being more workmanlike than inspired, maybe, but it’s not without some nice touches both harmonically and lyrically, and the rhumba beat adds to its sensuality.

     [On a technical note for musicians, of particular interest is the choice of notes and harmony over the words “rare night for”, the melody note is first the sixth, then the seventh, then the major seventh of the chord. (In this case A flat 6, A flat 7, A flat Maj. 7th. Going from a seventh to a major seventh like that is strange, I thought.  I raised my eyebrows when Porter didn’t make that A flat Maj. 7th  an F 9th.  But the more I played it, I realized that not changing the chord is what gives it its haunting originality.  This sort of thing happens quite frequently with American song writers, many of whom were not schooled.  You come across something and think, “well, no playing musician would write it that way” and then come around to thinking that the odd choice is the better one.]

     So here it is.  See if you recall it.  And if you haven’t seen the movie, please do.  Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong.  You can’t go wrong.  Click on the title in red to hear it.  The lyrics are below.

Mind If I Make Love To You? 

Refrain:

In the heavens,

Stars are dancing

And the mounting

Moon is new.

What a rare night

For romancing.

Mind if I

Make love to you?

Since the dear day

Of our meeting

I’ve wanted to tell you

All I long to do.

Dawn is nearing

Time is fleeting

Mind if I

Make love to you?

Bridge:

If you let me

I’ll endeavor

To persuade you

I’m your party for two.

Refrain:

And from then on

You will never mind

If I make love to you.

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