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I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling

     A certain Doug, a loyal listener and piano player himself, bemoaned the absence of any Fats Waller songs amongst the weekly tunes, an embarrassment we shall remove today with I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling, a tune Waller wrote in 1929 with Harry Link, with lyrics by Billy Rose.

      A hard drinking, hard living character, Waller died at the age of 39 but not before becoming a well-known pianist, singer and movie comedian.  Like Louis Armstrong, Waller’s clownish movie persona risks obscuring his real stature as a musician.  He was the greatest stride pianist of his day and only ceded that position when Art Tatum came to town.  (Tatum famously went to hear Waller play and Waller announced, “Ladies and gentleman, I play piano but God is in the house tonight.”)

     Stride piano takes its name from the left hand which alternates between bass notes (or tenths) and chords, such that when things get going there is a sense of striding down the street.  It is much like ragtime piano but more open to improvisation and harmonic inventiveness.  In this sense, it is the original jazz piano and Waller was for a long time its king.  It’s still a pleasing style to listen too, witness the popularity of the Broadway show Ain’t Misbehavin’ which happily reinvigorated Waller’s reputation.

     I’m doing I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling on Doug’s suggestion.  It’s a little less well known than the Waller chestnuts, but a compelling song (the opening phrase reminds of me of Getting Sentimental Over You) and recording it here forced me to learn the bridge which hitherto always eluded me.  Click on the red to hear it.  The lyrics are below.

 I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling

I’m flying high

But I’ve got a feeling I’m falling

Falling for nobody else but you.

You caught my eye

And I’ve got a feeling I’m falling

Show me the ring and I’ll jump right through.

I used to travel single

O we chanced to mingle

O how I’m a-tingle over you.  Hey, Mister

Parson, stand by

For I’ve got a feeling I’m falling

Falling for nobody else but you.


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