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Dream Dancing

    Apologies to weekly tuners everywhere!  Some technical problems, a cold, a delightful gaggle of young house guests and a flurry of playing jobs all conspired to postpone the next effort here.  Is that enough excuses?

     In the meantime, Doug, who earlier requested The Nearness of You and Somebody Loves Me, e-mailed to mention two songs he’d recently heard on CD that he liked.  One was Gershwin’s I Was Doing All Right, and the other was Cole Porter’s Dream Dancing.

     It occurred to me then that among the couple of dozen weekly tunes so far logged, none of them is by Cole Porter.  Is there no end to my delinquencies?  So let’s fix it!  Dream Dancing it is.

     Actually among the dozens of Cole Porter songs that any civilized American would know by osmosis, Dream Dancing is probably not among them.  It was written in 1941 for the Fred Astaire/ Rita Hayworth movie You’ll Never Get Rich, but the song was not published until after Porter’s death in 1963.  It has remained on the periphery of the corpus, a too-well kept secret of musicians and connoisseurs.  Indeed it is one of those titles that acts as a kind of hipster shibboleth, like Strayhorn’s Lush Life, separating the serious fan from the casual admirer.  Request it sometime.  The musicians may not know it but they will hold you in some esteem for asking.

     Still, the song has been recorded by many singers and players, most notably Ella Fitzgerald and Bobby Short.  Doug heard it on an album by Dave McKenna, the great solo piano player. I was introduced to the tune, I recall, by the guitarist Sonny Troy and bassist Ace Tesone, maybe in conjunction with the aforementioned Meri Mungiole (see Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year).  Like a lot of Porter tunes, this one lends itself easily to a Latin beat, and I’ve always done it that way.  But the sheet music calls it a fox trot and so I’ve tried it that way this time – more in the manner of Bobby Short here than Dave McKenna! – and I find I like even better as a fox trot.   I must be getting stodgy.  Click on the title in red below to hear it.  I’ve never seen the movie but you can hear how it would be a fine Astaire vehicle.  The lyrics (on the resilient theme of Dancing on The Ceiling, Deep in a Dream, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, I Had the Craziest Dream etc.etc.) are below.

Dream Dancing 

Verse:

When shades enfold the sunset’s gold

And stars are bright above again

I smile, sweetheart,

For then I know I can start to live again,

To love again.

Refrain:

When day is gone

And night comes on,

Until the dawn

What do I do?

I clasp your hand

And wander through slumber land

Dream dancing with you.

We dance between

A sky serene

And fields of green

Sparkling with dew.

It’s joy sublime,

Whenever I spend my time

Dream dancing with you.

Bridge:

Dream dancing,

Oh, what a lucky windfall!

Touching you, clutching you all

Through the night.

So say you love me dear,

And let me make my career

Dream dancing,

To Paradise prancing

Dream dancing with you.


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