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“Night and Day”

January 28, 2013

It’s no secret that Cole Porter is one of my favourite songwriters.  I’ve written about his work previously on this blog (“Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)”) and I’m always looking to add songs of his to my repertoire.

Songwriter Cole Porter 1891 - 1964

It’s also no secret that I’m very particular about the backing tracks that I use in my act so I was thrilled, therefore, to get hold of a fabulous accompaniment for one of  Porter’s most popular songs, “Night and Day” courtesy of Jazzback.com.

"Night and Day" sheet music 1934

The song was written for the show “Gay Divorce” which opened on Broadway on November 29th 1932 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and ran for two-hundered-and-forty-seven performances.  The show was Fred Astaire’s last Broadway appearance.

"The Gay Divorcee" film poster 1934

When the show was adapted into a movie in 1934 the title was changed to “The Gay Divorcee” in response to motion picture censors who insisted that divorce itself was not a fit subject matter for gaiety, but a divorcee could be.  In the film Astaire played opposite Ginger Rogers in what was their second film together (after 1933’s “Flying Down to Rio”), but the first in which they received top billing.

Fred and Ginger in "The Gay Divorcee" 1934 RKO movie

Edward Everett Horton and Fred Astaire in the 1934 RKO film "The Gay Divorcee"

As with so much of Cole Porter’s work “Night and Day” sounds beautifully simple, but is in fact a complex concoction of words, melody and rhythm.  I don’t have the technical know-how to do so, but for those interested in such things  there’s a great analysis of the technical intricacy of the musical structure on Jazzstandards.com.

Lyrically, it’s quite a serious affair with Porter delving into the darker, almost obsessive side of love: “Whether near to me or far/It’s no matter darling where you are/I think of you day and night”.

I’m so pleased I now have “Night and Day” in my repertoire.  It’s a wonderful song to perform and adds real “body” to any set, balancing the lighter romantic songs I already sing. .

Maybe I’ll be able to sing it for YOU someday soon.  Who knows?  To find out more about booking my services for your event, whatever and wherever it may be, please visit www.simonpartridge.com

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