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SOTW: BLUE SERENADE

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  • John J. O'Neill
    Blue Serenade from: THE OFFBEAT OF AVENUES Music & Lyrics: Tim Hauser & Van Dyke Parks Vocal Arrangement: Van Dyke Parks Music Arrangement: Ian Prince Horn
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 1, 1999
      "Blue Serenade"
      from: THE OFFBEAT OF AVENUES
      Music & Lyrics: Tim Hauser & Van Dyke Parks
      Vocal Arrangement: Van Dyke Parks
      Music Arrangement: Ian Prince
      Horn Arrangement: Gregory Davis

      Possible topics for discussion:
      Lyrics and music
      Arrangement
      Vocals performances
      Live performances
      Personal Interpretation
      Strong/Week points

      The lyrics:
      Hot to trot shot,
      out to the hot spot
      Up to the nines with bodies in line
      an' feelin' so fine
      What's to lose, go get 'em shoes

      You take a train, you find a
      fascinatin' rhythm in the rain
      At every stop,
      you hear the clippin' and the clop

      You take a beat, you find a
      fascinatin' rhythm in your feet
      It's so complete and you know
      nothin' can compete

      (You ain't seen nothin', you ain't seen nothin' - yet!)

      You start to palpitate and the
      jeep is shakin' the snake
      Like a man upon the move for a
      doll who doesn't hesitate
      Bad John
      You hear the sound of a sad song

      And when the downtown folk
      all shake it on out tonite
      Jeep is jake and rakin' in the take
      Bad John
      You are back where you belong

      She's such a sight tonite (Hello)
      A Caribana with a fan a top banana
      in a blue savanna moon
      A neck in neck
      You tell her darlin' get the check
      you're all electric
      Up in Harlem in a swoon
      Another dance with a with a tropical fan
      Another chance with
      the topical tan

      Mean swimmin' saxophones
      Takin' in the wimmin' and
      shakin' them bones
      The goat get in the fete begin
      Naughty in the body and set for sin
      A Creole girl step up and say
      "never say never"
      with a casual sway
      Takin' her time to come my way
      Bad John
      You are back where you belong

      All reet I'm tippin' in, deed I do
      And while the goat is on the fire
      and every note is your desire
      You approve her every move
      You in a spin (Come on in)
      She wanna grab you by the duff
      and tell you
      Honey this is tough enough
      for sure
      There's the door,
      what are you waiting for?
      And just us two,
      Serenading in Blue

      You take a frail who makes a
      copesetic caper with her tail
      I'm tellin' you, she really
      puttin' on a do

      The saxophones, you can't relax
      when there is rhythm in your bones
      You're on the hoof,
      you raise a racket on the roof

      Some syncopation, makin' with the
      eyes an arisin' occasion
      Made it in the shade the way they
      played that satin Serenade in Blue
    • DanaTMT@xxx.xxx
      Ok, I guess I am rare in that I know this one right off......LOL Here s an interesting little tidbit about it - I remember one time at an AOL chat a couple
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 1, 1999
        Ok, I guess I am "rare" in that I know this one right off......LOL

        Here's an interesting little tidbit about it - I remember one time at an AOL
        chat a couple of years ago I asked Tim what influenced this song, and he said
        something about he and Van Dyke Parks were discussing the time that Lawrence
        Welk made the "Take A Train" mistake (instead of "Take the A Train") and that
        conversation sort of led to the writing of this song.

        I love this one, I'll admit it. Dana
      • sunlight
        Thanks for picking a song off of Offbeat ! Like Dana, I know this one immediately. Any song with a tuba solo is just too cool. I like this song because it is
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
          Thanks for picking a song off of "Offbeat"! Like Dana, I know this one
          immediately. Any song with a tuba solo is just too cool. I like this
          song because it is comical to listen to. It reminds me of an old black
          and white cartoon and makes me smile every time I hear it.
        • sunlight
          ... A live version of this song? Do you think it would be possible? Has MT ever sung Down South Camp Meetin live? That s another song that would be difficult
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
            > Have they ever done this live? That would be amazing.

            A live version of this song? Do you think it would be possible? Has MT
            ever sung "Down South Camp Meetin" live? That's another song that would
            be difficult to sing live (you'd run out of breath pretty quickly).
          • John J. O'Neill
            Sunlight wrote. . . ... I figure if they can sing Airegin and Move live they can pull off anything. ;)
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
              Sunlight wrote. . .
              > A live version of this song? Do you think it would be possible? Has MT
              > ever sung "Down South Camp Meetin" live? That's another song that would
              > be difficult to sing live (you'd run out of breath pretty quickly).

              I figure if they can sing "Airegin" and "Move" live they can pull off anything. ;)
            • sunlight
              ... ha ha ha. True. And if you listen closely to the CD right before the song Move on the Live CD, you ll hear Janis and Cheryl s opinions on what it takes
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
                > I figure if they can sing "Airegin" and "Move" live they can pull off anything. ;)

                ha ha ha. True. And if you listen closely to the CD right before the
                song "Move" on the "Live" CD, you'll hear Janis and Cheryl's opinions on
                what it takes to sing this song.

                :)
              • JAWebster2@xxx.xxx
                In a message dated 2/2/99 5:24:06 PM Eastern Standard Time, sunlight@ufl.edu ... Yeah, and if you watch the companion video, you ll see what Janis went through
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
                  In a message dated 2/2/99 5:24:06 PM Eastern Standard Time, sunlight@...
                  writes:

                  > ha ha ha. True. And if you listen closely to the CD right before the
                  > song "Move" on the "Live" CD, you'll hear Janis and Cheryl's opinions on
                  > what it takes to sing this song.

                  Yeah, and if you watch the companion video, you'll see what Janis went through
                  to sing it!! (the microphone kept sliding down - quite funny, actually)

                  jessica
                • JAWebster2@xxx.xxx
                  In a message dated 2/2/99 5:04:01 PM Eastern Standard Time, sunlight@ufl.edu ... I think I accidentally brought one of those little hand-held tape recorders
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
                    In a message dated 2/2/99 5:04:01 PM Eastern Standard Time, sunlight@...
                    writes:

                    > > Have they ever done this live? That would be amazing.
                    >
                    > A live version of this song? Do you think it would be possible?

                    I think I accidentally brought one of those little hand-held tape recorders
                    and accidentally recorded one of their first shows on the Offbeat tour in
                    1991. If I can find it, I'll check to see if they did Blue Serenade.

                    jessica
                  • John.ONeill
                    Jessica wrote. . . ... LOL! Hmmmm. . .Jessica, you must be one of them there accident-prone folks.
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 2, 1999
                      Jessica wrote. . .
                      > I think I accidentally brought one of those little hand-held tape recorders
                      > and accidentally recorded one of their first shows on the Offbeat tour

                      LOL! Hmmmm. . .Jessica, you must be one of them there
                      accident-prone folks.
                    • Springer,James C.
                      ... through to sing it!! ... Yea, I actually felt sorry for her. Talk about Move ing ... If I remember right, she adjusted it once and then it fell a second
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 3, 1999
                        > From: JAWebster2@... [mailto:JAWebster2@...]

                        > Yeah, and if you watch the companion video, you'll see what Janis went
                        through to sing it!!
                        > (the microphone kept sliding down - quite funny, actually)

                        Yea, I actually felt sorry for her. Talk about "Move"ing ...

                        If I remember right, she adjusted it once and then it fell a second time
                        (while singing for those not familiar with the recorded video concert.) She
                        just kept right on singing, Move of all things. I gotta say I was impressed.

                        She was so worried about it, it must have been about 30 seconds where she
                        kept both hands/arms suspended in the air in the
                        "I'm-ready-for-it-to-fall-again" posture and finally "relaxed," ... well, at
                        least her hands and arms and could really concentrate on singing again.

                        Jim
                      • sunlight
                        Yeah, and if you watch the companion video, you ll see what Janis went through to sing it!! (the microphone kept sliding down - quite funny, actually) jessica
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 3, 1999
                          Yeah, and if you watch the companion video, you'll see what Janis went
                          through to sing it!! (the microphone kept sliding down - quite funny,
                          actually)
                          jessica

                          companion video? I think I'm missing a valuable resource here. tell me
                          please, please, please where I can find one.
                        • Springer,James C.
                          ... It s the video from the Vocalese tour, recorded in Japan I believe on the last night there. It s great, actually better than the CD as it is complete,
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 3, 1999
                            > From: sunlight <sunlight@...>
                            > companion video? I think I'm missing a valuable resource here. tell me
                            > please, please, please where I can find one.

                            It's the video from the Vocalese tour, recorded in Japan I believe on the
                            last night there. It's great, actually better than the CD as it is
                            "complete," the CD is missing some numbers performed. As for availability,
                            I don't know, you may need to get an answer from Dana on that .. I think it
                            may be still available as an import ... looks like CDNow carries it (just
                            checked.) I have the laser disk of it ... it is super ... I saw that tour
                            live and this disk always brings back fond memories as this was the first MT
                            concert I had attended way back in 1985.

                            Jim
                          • DanaTMT@xxx.xxx
                            In a message dated 2/3/99 1:09:34 PM Central Standard Time, James.Springer@cna.com writes:
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 3, 1999
                              In a message dated 2/3/99 1:09:34 PM Central Standard Time,
                              James.Springer@... writes:

                              << It's the video from the Vocalese tour, recorded in Japan I believe on the
                              last night there. It's great, actually better than the CD as it is
                              "complete," the CD is missing some numbers performed. As for availability,
                              I don't know, you may need to get an answer from Dana on that .. I think it
                              may be still available as an import ... looks like CDNow carries it (just
                              checked.) >>

                              CDNow does have it, but on backorder status. It is officially "out of print"
                              but you can find used copies now and then. I think that the laser disks might
                              be available as an import, but I haven't checked that out.

                              Dana
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