Moanin’ Low

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2021 at 12:42 am

Don’t you love torch songs, those melodic and messy mea culpas, all about being besotted – and usually dumped – by some bastard of a bad boy?

From Helen Morgan, who was one of the first and most famous popularizers of the genre with her Showboat hits Bill and Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man through Judy Garland’s The Man that Got Away to Barbra Streisand singing My Man at the end of Funny Girl, resulting in an Oscar, this genre has always been a reliable cri de coeur for the singularly bereft, as well as a surefire comforting emotional wallow for the romantic masochist in all of us.

Here is one of my favorites, by E.Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney, father of Karen Lynn who starred in Saturday Night Fever. It is sung – and FELT – by a wonderfully and reliably distraught Morgan, who makes even Garland’s similarly tousled-hair angst seem a picnic by comparison, in the big 1930 revue musical, Paramount on Parade, made at the very dawn of the talkies.

What’s your favorite torch song? Stormy Weather? One for My Baby? Moanin’ Low? Maybe This Time? Time Heals Everything? If He Walked Into My Life? As Long as He Needs Me?

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