Friday, February 29, 2008

The seal


Nearly letting February go by without a post - good job it's a leap year and I can just sneak under the wire.
Now that my profile doesn't show a seal picture, the tagline, "the faint aroma of performing seals" is a bit redundant, I suppose. But I'll leave it, as a reminder of one of my favourite songs, the Rodgers and Hart classic "I Wish I Were in Love Again" which contains the brilliant lines:
When love congeals
it soon reveals
the faint aroma of performing seals
the double-crossing of a pair of heels.
I wish I were in love again...
Not many of my tiny group of readers have noticed the reference, but Naomi Hyamson, mezzo-chanteuse and, improbably, Times journalist, did. The song's in her repertoire, along with lots of Weimar-era Brecht / Weill. Originally from the show "Babes in Arms", though not featured in the Mickey Rooney/ Judy Garland film version, the song is usally treated as a lively comic number, though I bet Naomi doesn't sing it like that. Certainly, Joni Mitchell's version, on her "Both Sides Now" album, exudes a desperate yearning. So- now you know.

11 comments:

petal47 said...

I've really tried to appreciate that Joni album but I just can't get into it. Her 40-a-day voice is more suited now to those mature classics, but I still prefer her songs to seagulls to her paeans about seals. And I did spot the reference! Just took a while...

Juliet said...

Went right over my head, I must confess, so it's good to be enlightened.

We have a friendly performing seal here on the MI, who steals the bait from children's crabbing lines.)

harriet said...

Glad to see you back in the blogworld, if only briefly. I love that song -- I used to have a great LP called Ella Fitzgerald Sings Rogers and Hart, on which it featured. Rogers and Hart so much better than Rogers and Hammerstein -- every song was a winner -- amazing lyrics.

Rob Spence said...

Petal - welcome to Topsyturvydom. I know what you mean about Joni's voice, and the whole thing is wildly overarranged, but I like to listen to it as an occasional indulgence, like eating a very calorific chocolate. I loved the cat photos on your blog. I need to post some of ours again, but I see they are still there on an old flickr account.
Juliet - it must be so much fun to have a seal around- though we do get performing squirrels here in the urban wasteland.
Hi Harriet - yes, all a bit hectic at the moment, and something had to give, but I thought I'd better keep my hand in.

bibliobibuli said...

i was puzzled.

but then i miss a lot of cultural references having been in all the wrong places at all the wrong times

petal47 said...

Thanks Rob, I think it's because of their fundamental vanity. I for one would like to see more of Boris...

Rob Spence said...

Hi Petal
Boris is not too well at the moment, but I will take some more pics when he's better.

petal47 said...

Hope you're better very soon Boris. We're ready for your close-up.

Buggles Balham High Road said...

I was at a party and everyone sang a song. I don't sing. The others chose songs we all knew and we joined in to help them out.

It was my turn and emboldened with wine I began to sing 'I wish I were in love again' and of course nobody joined in because they'd never heard it before.

By the time I was warbling

The pulled out fur of cat and cur
The fine mis-mating of a him and her
I've learned my lesson
But I wish I were in love again - in love again

The entire party was silent - whether in admiration or pity I didn't ask.

Rob Spence said...

I'd hate to think I had a hand in this embarrassment, Buggles. And maybe it was admiration...

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Oh no this was twenty years ago before Blogs.

This has always been my most favourite song sung by Sinatra.

Must have been pity because I still remember my excrutiation!