my song

In my baby book, my mother recorded that from the time I could stand in my crib, I would dance and sway to ballads, and there is no better ballad than “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin.

This song was climbing the charts the day I was born, and I like to think it was the first song I ever heard played on the radio. We’ll never know, so it might as well be so.
Crashing Waves at Sunset
Over the years, it has never failed to charm and soothe me. Yes, it’s romantic, but that wasn’t its first appeal for me. Or perhaps it was, but in a different sense.

As a child, my family would sometimes spend an afternoon at the beaches in Monterey, CA. These are beautiful, scenic waterfronts, the ones with the otters, and I’d look out in awe of the vastness of the ocean. To me, it held wonders known and unknown, for how could we be certain what lay at the bottom of the sea?

When I heard my song, I pictured another imaginative soul, wearing clothing from a bygone era, also standing on the shore in wonder.

Today when it plays I close my eyes and dream of dancing with the ideal partner to this music. Others on the dance floor stop and clear the floor as we move in perfection. It’s truly a dream, for I am not a dancer, and it’s a rare man who could match my vision.

Whether or not it was the first song I heard played on the radio, it no doubt was one I heard often in my earliest days of life. I hope it’s one I continue to hear all my days, and it never loses its charm for me.

Image Credit © wolterke — fotolia.com 

oh, to be in falling, falling love

In real life I’m pragmatic and not very good at romance in relationships.
small heart and key

I like the idea of hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day, but when it comes right down to it, wow, that’s a lot of money I’m not sure any man I’m dating should be spending in that way. There are probably other things I might appreciate just as much that would be far more practical, and I’m not crazy about roses anyway.

 today the minutes seem like hours/
the hours go so slowly/
and still the sky is light/
oh moon grow bright/
and make this endless day, endless night…

(from “Tonight, Tonight”)

But romantic songs, oh, I’m a goner. The musical West Side Story has a few good ones, and just recently I discovered that Jay & the Americans, that singing sensation from the 60s (“Cara Mia” “This Magic Moment”) had their first hit with this version of “Tonight, Tonight.” (below)

As my friend Bill says, Leonard Bernstein, who wrote the music, probably is turning in his grave every time it plays (it’s not exactly the way he wrote it), but it’s a great rendition. And listen to the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Does it get any better? (yes, it does, with “Somewhere,” from the same musical).

I suppose no one over the age of, I’m not sure, but fairly early into young adulthood, can have too many illusions about lasting romance. I’m not talking lasting love, because that exists, and I’m not saying romance leaves a relationship. But that falling, falling feeling fades and real life takes over eventually.

But I think everyone, married or single, should be allowed to recapture that emotion once in a while,

to believe in the beauty and hope that comes with falling in love. Songs of the heart resonate for different reasons, if they do at all, but here’s a new favorite of mine, an old classic, I hope will bring a smile to your face.

By the way, the original lead singer of Jay & the Americans, the one performing on this single, was Jay Traynor, not the better known Jay Black. Because there’s such a difference in their voices and styles, and, well, I’m a huge fan of this romantic song as well, I’m including “This Magic Moment” also by Jay & the Americans, with lead singer Jay Black.

Image Credit (heart & key) GraphicStock.com