Friday, September 9, 2011

Learnin' the Blues

When you at home alone
The blues will taunt you constantly, yessuh
Ba dit dit deet
And when you're out in a crowd
The Blues will haunt your memories
Bah da doh doh zet

 These lines from the song "Learnin' the Blues" (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong version) made me realize what the blue songs really mean after so many years of letting me believe that I know what blues songs are.

This song was written by Dolores Vicki Silvers in 1955. A demo of the song was recorded by some Valino man and was passed to Frank Sinatra for him to record. Then in 1957, Ella and Louis (that is for me, the greatest duet ever) made their rendition of the song.

From the original, it surely is different. Because there are two singers, the lyrics were edited for each, to match with their genders. And a technique was used (for the singer having no part at the moment not to be bored maybe), and that is the Bah da doh doh zet/ Ba dit dit deet parts.

What is beautiful in this rendition is that its a duet. A not your ordinary duet. Because here, they communicate. They actually has that magical connection. It sounds like they're just to folks chatting in a bar, speaking for themselves but not actually declaring that it's them they're talking about.

The nights when you don't sleep
The whole night you're cryin'
But you can't forget him
Soon you even stop tryin'

Man, it's the beginnin'
Just one of those cluessssss
You've had your first lesson, Whoa, yes
In learnin' the Blues

They really tweaked the original, even though the lyrics are just the same. The fast beat of Sinatra was for me really off. But Ella and Louis' wonderful saxophone music background really makes the song a blue song.

Maybe someday, I'll be reviewing other awesome duets of the two... so thanks for reading! and please,,,  THE GOOD MUSIC IS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY :)

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