Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May/Might: Might As Well Be Spring

Purchase "It Might As Well Be Spring"

"It Might as Well Be Spring" is a Rogers and Hammerstein composition from the 1945 film, State Fair.  As part of its designation as an "old standard", the song has been done numerous times, by some notable performers.

Sarah Vaughn did it, with a somewhat obtrusive Miles Davis trumpet line stepping all over her silky vocals.

Nina Simone covered the song for her first album, and it is tinged by the same dark sadness that all of her music simmers and broods with.

Peggy Lee took the mid-tempo ballad and swung it about, making it a snazzy, floor-filling dance tune.

Sinatra had a hit with it in 1961. But, Sinatra made everything a hit, didn't he?

The Bill Evans Trio turned the song into a smoldering yet bright instrumental, that might put you in the mood for a smoke and bourbon on the rocks.

I picked the song for the obvious title match with our chosen theme this month, but also for the light airiness of the tune, and certain happy feeling it brings to hear the timidly melancholy lyrical musing on the change of season as a stand in for silly love, and the metaphorical discovery of being out of season.

Here in the desert, Spring is the end of the season, and rather than a new beginning, there is a sense of sad goodbye that pervades everything. As the days get hotter, the whole place is winding down, the cafes are closing, the outside world we've made is being rolled back, pulled into storage and put undercover until the fall returns, when the sun won't be so relentless and we can all go outside again, blooming back into life. Spring is backwards here, and the desert is hard pressed to give up the only possession it owns. But, even if the time of year is wrong, when it's beautiful again here on the wrong side of the world, it might as well be spring. 

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