Just Because Music : Rachel Platten’s “I’m gonna stand by you” and “Fight Song”

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a song that seemed to fit into the parameters of my “Just Because Music” category, but here one is — Rachel Platten’s I’m gonna stand by you.  And no, I have no idea what those parameters are; it’s just that some songs run through my head and I want to share them.

Incidentally, extra points for anyone who can tell me what the heck the video has to do with the song.

And if you like Platten’s vocal style and music choices, you can also check out her first hit, Fight Song. The video disappoints me, though. I thought it would have some MMA stuff.

Just Because Music: Really listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Just One Of Those Things”

EllaFitzgeraldI’ve been a passionate Ella Fitzgerald fan for decades now. The problem with that, though, is that I’m so familiar with her work that I often don’t really listen to it. I hear it, of course, when the songs come up on my playlist, but I don’t listen. Tonight, though, I listened hard when Ella sang “Just One Of Those Things.”

The lyrics are exquisite — among Cole Porter’s best, I think — and to hear her cradle them and then let them go is a wonderful thing. Ella is in complete control: confident, smooth, easy, and free. With Ella, you never worry whether she’ll somehow miss a note or a beat. The musicality flows from her like water from the Trevi Fountain. This, my friends, is music!

Just Because Music: The Jive Ace’s “Bring Me Sunshine”

The Jive AcesSeveral years ago, Earl Aagaard sent me a link to a delightful video called Bring Me Sunshine, by the Jive Aces.  And then, my memory being what it is, I lost the link and lost the song — that is, I couldn’t remember either the name of the song or of the band.

The other day, however, I read Mark Steyn’s column about Cecil the Lion.  Steyn, of course, was wonderful on the subject.  He also included an homage to British entertainer Cilla Black, who died recently. One of the videos to which Steyn linked — the Morecambe and Wise Show — included the song Bring Me Sunshine and (boom!) I knew I could once again find the Jive Ace’s video that Earl had long ago sent me.

Well, I found the video again, loved it again, and am sharing it again:

Just Because Music : Joan Crawford singing “Gotta A Feelin’ For You” in 1929

Watching this, it’s fascinating to remember that, thanks to such movies as Our Dancing Daughters, which had come out one year earlier, many believed Joan Crawford to personify the modern Flapper. It took some years before Crawford transformed herself into the powerful, almost iconic, line of female characters that shaped her legacy.

Just Because Music: The Maccabeats’ “Dayenu”

Dayenu is a traditional Passover song that’s more than 1,000 years old.  It’s one of those songs that, like The Old Lady Who Swallowed The Fly, keeps having longer and longer verses. In the case of Dayenu, the ever-lengthening verses add up God’s Passover miracles. After every verse comes the chorus: “Dayenu” — “it [that miracle or those miracles]” would have been enough. If you don’t know Hebrew, though, the song can get really bogged down. Alternatively, you can hand the task of singing it over to the Maccabeats: