first dance songs

Time After Time-Frank Sinatra


I’ve been obsessed lately on the subject of the perfect first dance. I wanted to make a case for songs from what’s known as The Great American Songbook, songs sung by great vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Songs that, to me, are beautiful in the simplicity of their lyrics and the ease of the vocal performances  Try to listen with fresh ears. I’ve always loved music from this era. My own first dance is “Our Love Is Here To Stay,” and I’ve been happily married for thirty years.

 

Time After Time is one of my all time favorites of the era. Written by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne for Frank Sinatra this is a true classic.  My favorite lyric is astonishing in its poignant simplicity:

I only know what I know, the passing years will show.
You’ve kept my love so young, so new.
And time after time, you’ll hear me say that I’m,
so lucky to be loving you.

Unknown-1

By the way, you may notice the purity of Sinatra’s voice in these recordings from the 30s & 40s…..long before he sort of became a parody of himself in the 70s & 80s. The purity of his voice is what made him a legend.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

You’re The Best Thing-Gladys Knight

OK, guys, we’re going truly “old school,” way back to 1974. “Gladys Knight & The Pips” were always considered the “class” of the disco era. Try to ignore the bell-bottoms, and classic Motown moves of “The Pips,” and listen to the lyrics of this gem. Plus, seriously can you beat those classic Motown horns? Gladys Knight is, and will always be, one of the iconic female vocalists of the 20th century.

Truth be told, it’s one of my favorite songs ever recorded. Check out these heartfelt lyrics, sung by the amazing Glady;s Knight & The Pips.One thing’s for sure, you’re not going to hear this at your friend’s wedding. Hopefully we’re going into uncharted territory with this list. It’s definitely worth going back to the 70s to find this gem.

“I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs, but fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well I guess you could say that it’s all because of you.

if anyone should ever write my life story, for whatever reason there might be
You’ll be there between each line of pain and glory,
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.

Unknown

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Just The Way You Are-Bruno Mars

What I love about Bruno Mars“Just The Way You Are” is that the lyrics the melody and unique “groove” come together for a fabulous alternative choice for a great “First Dance.”

First of all, anyone with the confidence to write a song called “Just The Way You Are” after Billy Joel had virtually “owned” that title for almost 40 years. Legally, you can’t copyright a title. Actually Elton John wrote a song called “The Way You Look Tonight,” which doesn’t come close to the mastery of the Frank Sinatra classic with the same name.  

Anyway, Bruno Mars has come up with a perfect little song that is amazing for the couple that is willing to think “out of the box” in the sense that it’s not a traditional “First Dance” ballad. Musically, it’s remarkably simple. If you listen carefully to the keyboard part, he repeats the same five note phrase throughout the entire song.

But the lyrics and the warm feel of the song make it a terrific choice for a First Dance:

Oh, her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautifuland I tell her everyday.
Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her, she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she doesn’t see what I see
But every time she ask me do I look okay?
I say…when I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl, you’re amazing just the way you are

Her lips, her lips, I could kiss them all day if she’d let me
Her laugh her laugh, she hates but I think it’s so sexy
She’s so beautifuland I tell her everyday….

images-1

Come on guys, that’s some serious commitment to the woman of your dreams.
Check it out, and let me know what you think.
-Doug

The Nearness Of You-Norah Jones

The magnificent Norah Jones recorded one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics are so beautiful and feel perfectly natural for any generation. It’s a song originally written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1940, and has been recorded well over a hundred times by everyone from Billy Holliday to James Taylor. This is a true class from The Great American Songbook.

I love the simplicity of Ms. Jones’ soft vocal and solo piano. Because of the clear and sensitive way she pronounces every syllable, you certainly don’t need the lyrics washing over the screen. Just close your eyes and enjoy Carmichael’s melody and Ned Washington’s poetic words.

It’s not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me,
Oh no. It’s just the nearness of you.
It isn’t your sweet conversation that brings this sensation
Oh no,
 It’s just the nearness of you

When you’re in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams came true
I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you’ll only grant me the right to hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you

images-2

If you’re at work, or driving, please keep you eyes open….but you get the idea. I truly hope you love this as much as I do. Let me know what you think.
-Doug