Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Songbook: The Folks who Live on the Hill

I want to stay with last week's singer, Johnny Hartman. Here he's doing a Jerome Kern tune, 'The Folks Who Live on the Hill' (lyrics by Hammerstein). These gently jazzy versions of show-tunes, in the hands of great singers like Hartman, always seem to add meaning to the lyric.

That's pretty fair singing, methinks. These lyrics have a kind of anticipatory nostalgia about them, a way of saying, "I'm going to love growing old with you." In this song the lovers imagine themselves grown old together, sitting on the front porch and enjoying the view (not just of a lawn, but of a lifetime together). In the next and very different song, Hartman sings about the child of such folks, coming back to the old home and finding that "nobody's home."

Enjoy your Friday, people!


Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for this. I love Johnny Hartman, but I've not heard this version before, one of my favorite songs. Jo Stafford's version is quite lovely.

Bob Spencer said...

Jo Stafford. She's another great one. Hartman I've really only just discovered. where have I been?