July 10, 2009


The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter
Edited by Robert Kimball

You're the Top -- There's something to be said for singing, even if you can't really sing: the very act just lifts your soul. (That's one of the downsides to growing up as we do: as an adult you don't sing nearly as much as you do when you're a child. What's worse, most of the singing you might do could very well be in a church. I sometimes think "church" music is so awful because really good music is more powerful than prayer.) Cole Porter was certainly a master of American song; his tunes are widely available, performed by a vast variety of artists, still today. And a reading of his lyrics reveals Cole Porter was a great American poet, too.

When they begin the beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender,
It brings back a night of tropical splendor,
It brings back a memory ever green.
I'm with you once more under the stars
And down by the shore an orchestra's playing,
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine.

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