17 03 2011

Skylark—H. Carmichael/J. Mercer, 1941 (Recorded March 16, 2011) One of the many fine songs to have emanated from the collaboration of those two 20th Century musical giants, Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. Mercer was known to be fond of tunes and lyrical imagery having to do with birds, or “Bird Songs,” as he called them. Thus, “Skylark” was a natural for him. It’s said that Carmichael helped shape the words to “Skylark,” as he was to do often with the work of his lyricists. Most people of the day probably felt, as Johnny Mercer did, that if Hoagy Carmichael wanted to change a word or two to a lyric written for one of his melodies, it could only result in the tune’s improvement.

Two warnings about this recording: first, I used the banjo uke; second, I got my hands on a cheap plastic slide whistle.


UPDATE: I’m changing the old “Skylark” to a new version. Listening back to the earlier one I posted, I realized that I didn’t like it. Not that I like this one much better, but it’s a little better, I think…more up-tempo, slightly more in-tune vocal, better banjo uke playing, and, I ditched the crummy slide whistle for a phrase of regular whistling. Does it work? I have no idea. Feel free to leave feedback here. I value other people’s opinions very much. When I record I am the only person around to judge whether a performance is good or bad or (more likely) something in between. (And this time I remembered to place meta-tags on the MP3. The previous sentence could not have existed 20 years ago.)

UP-UPDATE: Not sure if the updated version is any better. ;°(



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