Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bible Stories: It Ain't Necessarily So

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: It Ain’t Necessarily So [purchase]

Well, it needed to be said.  Belief and faith are wonderful things, but credulously swallowing fables and cautionary tales as being literally true leads nowhere good in the long run.  Sometimes a story is just a story, entertaining as it may be, and sometimes the real joy is to be found in the telling of it: the delivery, the timing, the relish with which a storyteller delivers his tale.

Which, of course, brings us to Ella and Louis.  Satchmo's cornet is incisive and true, his voice grizzled and wry as he chews upon Ira Gershwin's sly Biblical observations, while Ella is, as ever, clear and sweet, exuding innocence while her words belie that facade.  The joke, though, is on us: the eponymous lyric is sung to a tune based upon the aliyah blessing that calls a congregation to hear a reading from Torah.  Perhaps we aren't to believe everything we read in the Old Testament, but its influence on our society is inherent in everything up to and including the doubt expressed within these verses.  And so, in keeping with the spirit of inevitability, I wish you all a very Happy Easter.  After all, if you can't beat 'em...

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