Musical Poetry: Begin the Beguine

16th note

I especially like 16th notes. Particularly in power pop via tambourine.

I’m an aficionado of many types of music. From edgy alternative, to world beat, to electronica, and so on, I appreciate it in many forms.

One example would be The Andrews Sisters. It might not be immediately obvious that a Deftones and Keith Richards fan would be into each of these artists, but hey. A particular track of theirs I’ve come to love is “Begin the Beguine,” a standard from the wildly gifted Cole Porter. The poetry of the lyrics and the imagery they suggest, along with the snappy beat, brass/woodwind riffs – and of course the boisterous harmonies of the sisters – comes together so very well in this recording. See if you agree:

When they begin the beguine,
It brings back the sound of music so tender.
It brings back a night of tropical splendor.
It brings back a memory evergreen.

I’m with you once more; I’m with you under the stars.
And down by the shore an orchestra’s playing.
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine.

To live it again is past all endeavor,
Except that tune clutches my heart
And there we are swearing to love forever,
And promising never, never to part.

What moments divine, what rapture serene
‘Til clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted.
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted
I know but too well what they mean.

So let them begin the beguine.
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember.
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
When they begin the beguine.

Oh yes let them begin the beguine – make them play!
‘Til the stars that were there before return above you.
‘Till you whisper to me once more, “Darling, I love you,”
And we suddenly know what heaven we’re in,
When they begin the beguine.

What do you think? Is there a particular genre of music that you find surprisingly appealing? What about music moves, inspires, or captivates you? Let us hear from you in the comments.

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