The assemblage of songs, to reflect upon times and seasons in my life has always held importance to me.
The following songs I've curated feel like the spring season to me. As I've previously stated, in part I of this series - I believe someone's sense of music gives you a sense of who they are. I vulnerably go into detail, as to why I've chosen each song for you and I. I hope you enjoy...
When I Fall In Love - Live (cover), by Sam Cooke
I believe Sam Cooke sang this, thinking of somebody he loved. He unequivocally meant the words he had sung that night.
The recording opens with the beautifully sung rumination I've felt deeply, in my past and present... "Maybe I'm old fashioned, feeling as I do... Or even, maybe, maybe I'm living in the past... Oh, but when I meet the right one... I just know that I'll be true. For my, my first love will be my last..."
Then Sam & the Copa band musically build into the universal tale of romantic disenchantment we have all experienced at some chapter in our lives... "In a restless world like this is... Love has sorta ended before it's begun... And too many moonlight kisses seem to cool in the warmth of the sun..." Till I feel moved to my spirit once he unwaveringly and still hopefully cries out... "... Oh!.. When I give, when I give, when I give, when I give my heart... It's gonna be completely... Oh yea, oh yea... Or I'll never... I'll never, never, never give my heart... Oh no, I won't."
This song exquisitely recounts what many of us continue to do... We somehow believe in spite of our disappointing love stories and defeated expectations, that the perfect love remains available to us... And it absolutely is.
Someone to Watch Over Me (cover), by Lena Horne & Marty Gold
I adore Lena Horne. She epitomizes all that I aim to be, in how I carry myself - beautiful, tasteful, classy lady of African American descent.
While I appreciate the original record by Blossom Dearie, the first time I had heard Horne's version tears left my eyes. She easily gives the song lyrics a more intricate meaning...
"There's a somebody I'm longin' to see... I hope that he turns out to be... Someone who'll watch over me... I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood... I know I could always be good... To one who'll watch over me... Oh, how I need someone to watch over me..."
Somewhere in her earnest and heartfelt voice, and beautiful brown face - I found she and I have known a lot of the same things...
Nature Boy (cover), by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga, and Tony Bennett singing big band tunes as an unexpected pair is such a treat!.. This song is masterful, bestowing a universal truth to all who listen.
I recall the first time I'd discovered this gem, just entering my adult years... The lyrics really resonated with me, and taught me something important... "And then one day... The magic day he passed my way... And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings... This he said to me... The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return..."
Mr. Bojangles (cover), by Nina Simone
Nina Simone's rendition of this classic is fabulous. She knows how to tell a story; and she tells us Mr. Bojangles story with such affection and sadness - this recording haunts you after a listen.
Happier Than The Morning Sun, by Stevie Wonder
I love Stevie Wonder. He is an unmatched vocalist, lyricist and instrumentalist. This song is simply beautiful. The guitar is notably just as expressive and heart-warming as Wonder's voice in this song.
I've felt happier than the morning sun, and I hope you experience that as well, if not already...
This song is for springtime cruising, or waking up to a lover.
Keep Gettin' It On, by Marvin Gaye
This is a brilliant and epicurean interlude, in the iconic Marvin Gaye album Let's Get It On.
Throughout this tempting transition, Gaye fervently preaches we should get it on above all, all day, everyday. He reasons with us... "Don't you want somebody?.. Think about you good, now... Yeah, you got some goodness in you... Come on, just bring it on now.. What you waiting for?.. Oh, Jesus, trying to tell the people... To come on and get it on, yes, Lord..."
I receive his message, and I am passing it on to you.
Miracles, by Jefferson Starship
I was gifted this song at the age of seventeen, by a much older man who was completely taken with me. I appreciated it then, and I appreciate it now.
Hypnotic and sexy, almost orgy-like - sums the song.
"... So we're making love, you feel the power and I feel the power... And there's really nothing we can't do..." Then naked male & female voices eagerly echo and exclaim in unison "... you know we could, you know we could..."
Stand By Me (cover), by Florence + The Machine
When I first discovered Florence Welch's melodically bewitching version of this soul classic, I was touched and replayed it again and again. She'd made this her own song, and gave the lyrics a new illustration...
Through her song, I imagine a powerful woman beckoning her lover to take an uncertain journey with her. They're in a garden, dressed in white, on a springtime night of course. "Darling stand by me, stand by me, stand by me," she insists to him.