The calendar reminds us that only four days of summer remain and that the autumnal equinox will soon be upon us, ushering in a new season, one of stunning, but all too often ephemeral beauty. Children have returned to school, football season (for better or worse) is again upon us, the slow march to the World Series will soon begin, leaves await raking and the days will become ever more fleeting. Daylight, so recently abundant, will become an ever more precious commodity during the months ahead. Cooler nights portend the promise of a better night’s sleep as hopes for a lengthy Indian summer spring anew.
Tag: Frank Sinatra
Sep 18 2010
May 29 2010
This week’s selection is a hauntingly beautiful number written in 1947 by eden ahbez, an American songwriter and recording artist from the 1940s to the 1960s, whose California lifestyle greatly influenced the hippie movement. Beginning in the 1940s or earlier, ahbez wore sandals, white robes, shoulder-length hair and a beard, uncommon choices in those days. He camped out below the “L” of the Hollywood sign above Los Angeles, studied Oriental mysticism, claimed to survive on three dollars per week, slept outdoors with his family and subsisted on vegetables, fruits and nuts. He passed away in 1995, just shy of his 87th birthday.
The song was recorded by Nat “King” Cole, remained a #1 hit for eight weeks in 1948, and subsequently became a pop and jazz standard. The lyrics describe a fantasy of a “strange enchanted boy…who wandered very far” only to learn that “the greatest thing…was just to love and be loved in return.” The first two measures of the song’s melody are similar to that of Antonin Dvorak’s 1887 “Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 81.” It was not known if ahbez was familiar with Dvorak’s work. The title of the song was derived from a Los Angeles-based group of which ahbez was a member.