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Lucy Mercer

Lucy Mercer
Location
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Birthday
December 31
Bio
I cook, I write, I carpool. You may also find my words at A Cook and Her Books. Email acookandherbooks@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!

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MARCH 31, 2012 11:36PM

My favorite song

Rate: 10 Flag

What better way to spend a Saturday night than to share favorite songs with my Open Salon friends? It has taken a completely frivolous open call like this to get me to actually post. Here, on the eve of April Fool's Day, it's about time I posted in 2012.


 I have a short list of songs that make my "favorite song" cut, and the criteria are that I must love the lyrics and be able to sing them in my unremarkable voice without stirring the neighborhood dogs. The songs that come to mind are classics, another way of saying that I'm hopelessly old-fashioned and out of style.

And so they are: my first runner-up "Moon River," for sentimental reasons, including especially that Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics (officially unrelated, but you never know who'll come knocking at the door someday). Easy to sing, gentle lyrics that make a sweet lullaby for a babe in arms.

"You Don't Know Me" written by Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold in 1955 is the most perfectly written song that I can thing of and that's why it's my number one. Countless singers have covered this song in the intervening years - this NYT obit for Walker lists versions by Elvis, Patti Page, Roy Orbison, Emmylous Harris and Kenny Rogers, alongside the straightforward interpretation by Arnold in 1956 and Ray Charles' 1962 recording on "Modern Sounds in Country + Western Music." Canadian wedding singer Michael Buble (and I write that with affection), has a respectable version, as well.

I guess because of my Nashville roots, I keep going back to the country versions by Arnold and Brother Ray. Both are worth a listen, but this jazzy rendition is a gem: Norah Jones and Wynton Marsalis:

http://youtu.be/T2_9Rkk4f_g

My seond runner-up, incidentally, is "Amazing Grace," for provenance (the oft-told tale of the slave trader John Newton who wrote the hymn) and scores of stirring versions. Favorite takes include those by soprano (and Georgia native) Jessye Norman, and jazz great Diane Schuur. To be honest, though, message aside, I include it because my daughter occasionally asks me to sing it at bedtime. I know all the verses by heart and they speak to me of the sorrows of this life and the promise of a better tomorrow, if not in this world, then beyond.

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Lucy,Excellent choices..Rated.Best regards.
It's only just dawned on me that "You Don't Know Me" is so very appropriate for OS.
I enjoyed listening to this one, Lucy ... very much. I always like listening to Norah ... one of my favourite singers.

And I smile for you including Amazing Grace and the picture of you singing it to your daughter at bedtime. : )
You're right that it works well for OS Lucy. I'd heard it before of course, but not the version you picked. I hadn't realized quite how poignant it is. Nice choice.
[r] Gooooooood choices!!!! best, a wretch like me, libby
Amazing Grace is one of my favorites too. I have so many memories that are associated with that song -- a lot of them sad, but good ones as well. It's funny that I don't think I know all the words, but when it starts up, I find that I do.
You're a girl after my own heart. I love the standards. My favorite song is "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin. "Moon River" and "You Don't Know Me" rank up there too.
You have good taste by me...
........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
☼•*¨`*•.¸.(ˆ◡ˆ).¸.•*
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★
Wow those are some great songs. Thanks for sharing this via the April fools.
I like all of your choices. My favorite version of "You Don't Know Me" is the one by Ray Charles. He recorded that when I was a young heart broken young man and i remember :cryin' in my beer" to that song.
In the country hymn genre there are a lot of hard to choose between choices. I like Judy Collins version of Amazing Grace perhaps the best. I like "Farther Along", which I sometimes sing when no one is home. (My wife hates that sonf for some reason.)
As to Moon River... I can't sing that without thinking of a parody I sang at a party following a medical school final exam in Pathology titled, "Doomed Liver". The lyrics were of the black humor variety.
It is a beautiful song, though.
Love Norah Jones. What a talent. R
There were lots of punctuation errors in my above comment. Please don't judge, I'm having my first cup of coffee.
I find myself in good company -- Brother Ray owned almost every song he ever recorded, that is his version is the one by which all others are measured. His heartrending version of "You Don't Know Me" or his wistful rendition of "Georgia On My Mind" are just two examples.