A Foggy Day

I am a singer. And I love songs.

All different kinds of music and songs: my taste is eclectic and far-reaching. On a given day you could find me listening to rap, David Bowie and Patsy Cline in the same half hour and loving all three.

That said, I am a musical theatre actress and so of course love all things “musical theatre.” But I have also spent many years performing in the cabaret clubs of New York City, and I think that that medium is one of the most beautiful. The intimacy of the cabaret form is unparalleled.

So I have always had a special spot in my heart for the Great American Songbook.

(In case you don’t know what that refers to, it is loosely defined by Wikipedia as “the most popular and enduring songs from the 1920s to the 1950s that were created for Broadway theatre, musical theatre, and Hollywood musical film. They have been recorded and performed by a large number and wide range of singers, instrumental bands, and jazz musicians. The Songbook comprises standards by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and also Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers, and others.”)

Thanks to Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, and other contemporary artists, many of these “standards” are still being brought into the mainstream. And the jazz world also keeps these chestnuts alive and well. They truly stand the test of time.

Because the songs themselves are so well-crafted, a singer can take a standard and bring their own interpretation of it to the mix, which in turn resonates with the listener and their interpretation of that particular singer’s arrangement.

It becomes a live collaboration between the musicians, the vocalist, and the composer and lyricist (even though they may have been long since dead,) which comes to life again and again when performed with an audience or recorded to be experienced by a listener.

One of my favorite standards is called “A Foggy Day,” composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress.

It has been recorded by a zillion amazing singers. But I felt very connected to the song in a specific way. Together with my amazing accompanist and arranger Rick Jensen (an incredible songwriter/singer and one of the most talented people on this planet) and the bassist Mark Wade, we found our own unique relationship with the song.

We recorded it for a demo CD I made many years ago now, but I still love what we found.

I feel such gratitude to the Gershwin brothers for having created such a classic song that spoke to something in me so much that I had to create my own version of it.

I was a stranger in the city
Out of town were the people I knew
I had that feeling of self-pity
What to do, what to do, what to do
The outlook was decidedly blueBut as I walked through the foggy streets alone
It turned out to be the luckiest day I’ve known

A foggy day, in London town
Had me low, had me down
I viewed the morning, with much alarm
British Museum, had lost its charm

How long I wondered,
Could this thing last
But the age of miracles, hadn’t passed
For suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London town,
The sun was shining everywhere

For suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London town,
The sun was shining everywhere

I am so grateful that music exists, period, to connect me to my own heart, to artists of the past, and to other people, today and tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “A Foggy Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s