Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blossom Dearie revives Oklahoma in me

During an interview I listened to recently I heard a dear old song which invoked nostalgia, hearkening back the days of my childhood. The song was “Surrey with a Fringe on Top”.

The interviewee, Lisa Forrest, remembers it fondly and states she often sings it to her children at night as they request it frequently: “chicks and ducks, chicks and ducks” they call. The first line of the song being “chicks and ducks and geese better scurry”. This enticed me to sing it to my two, indeed they have fallen in love with it too with Eee accompanying me on the piano and Ess requesting we sing it again and again as she bops and dances.

The song comes from the musical “Oklahoma”. While I don’t recall Mum singing it to us like this, Mum often got out the record she had of this musical, acquired after watching it during high school, and played it when we were kids. I am sure that as I grew older I would have put it on the old record player myself.

Once Upon a Summertime

The recording I heard this time however was not from the original musical. It was sung by a female, was jazzier and somehow smoother, richer and creamier. I liked it, really liked it, and have since discovered it was a recording of Blossom Dearie singing it in 1958. How have I lived my life without hearing Blossom Dearie before? So now I have purchased her album Once Upon a Summertime and will play it for my daughters with fond recollections of my own childhood; all the while creating new memories for my girls to last a lifetime.

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