Ill Wind

1 06 2011

Ill Wind (You’re Blowin’ Me No Good)—H. Arlen/T. Koehler, 1934 (Recorded April 27, 2011) Harold Arlen came up with this tune while he was visiting the woman who was to became his wife. The lyric, by Ted Koehler, is not the most romantic set of words ever written for a melody, and I puzzle whether Arlen had such a gloomy story in mind when he composed the tune in the company of his girlfriend. It was quite ordinary for Arlen’s songs to take on a tone of The Blues, so it doesn’t surprise me that here, one of his darkest songs, was inspired by romance. The song appeared in Arlen’s and Koehler’s last Cotton Club Parade show and was introduced by Aida Ward. Like most of Arlen’s songs, this one has a verse, which I did not record on this take:

How can I feel at ease
When you whine through the trees
Where blackbirds are singin’ the blues
You rattle my door, can’t stand it no more
Weary of hearin’ bad news
My bluebird would cheer me if you’d let him near me
But when you are around, ah, where he goes,
The Lord only knows my trouble and woes…

Yes, he wrote this song for his lover, I’ll betcha! Some day I must learn that verse.

(I recorded this back in April and originally planned to have a musician friend of mine add some accompanying instrumental material, but that fell through, so instead, I whistled.)

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2 responses

1 06 2011
Suzan Bartels

One of my very favorite songs!! Thanks for the verse – wish I knew the tune!!!

1 06 2011
Patsy Monteleone

Thanks, Suz! I’ll send you an MP3 of Arlen himself. Cheers!

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