WEEK 25 – 12 TO 18 DECEMBER 2014


Finaletto Act II (Through The Years) – Bren Barrett, Heidi Grant Murphy Top 10 Contender

Through The Years

From the 1932 musical of the same title, Through The Years has been a favourite of mine since I first heard it.

After being fatally shot at her wedding by a bullet aimed at the groom, a dying bride, Moonyeen, promises her groom, John, she’ll somehow come back and be with him always. As she dies, John puts the ring on her finger and promises eternal love through the years.

I love this song because it is a love letter to all the omnipresent travelling companions in our lives, do you know what I mean? These are people no longer in our daily lives, but who are always in our hearts and thoughts. They are the first ones you think of when something good or bad happen to you. Somehow, you still let a dead friend know what’s going on in your life. You think of your parents every time you see an old couple holding hands on the street. I’m pretty sure that even after death, my parents, siblings, relatives, and friends will always be present every day in my life. I suppose I came up with that concept when I left home, being a loner by nature, I had to come up with a way to adapt and survive.

By the way, I read once that Through The Years was Judy Garland’s favourite song, not “Over The Rainbow”, as many people would readily assume.

Song Title: Finaletto Act II (Through The Years) – 1932   Genre: Musical   Artist: Bren Barrett, Heidi Grant Murphy Composer: Vincent Youmans   Lyricist: Edward Heyman   Album: Through The Years

Favourite Lyrics: Through the night / I’ll be a star to guide you, / Shinning bright / Though clouds may come and hide you.

Runners Up: Invitation • You’re In Love • Kinda Like You • Through The Years • Ghost Music • Drums In My Heart • Tonight You Belong to Me • The Japanese Sandman • Dreamweaver


Enter You – Tori Spelling

Trick (Motion Picture Soundtrack)

This is probably the only list where you will find Tori Spelling among great singers and composers. Yep, that Tori, the same one from 90201.

Enter You comes from one of the cutest gay-themed films from the end of the millennium, “Trick”. An aspiring composer, Gabriel, gets his friend Katherine (Tori Spelling), to helping him with a song he’s workshopping with a group of musical theatre experts. Unfortunately, the song is not successful, not only the experts seem to agree that Gabriel doesn’t fully understand musical theatre or love for that matter, but Katherine’s performance is lacklustre. And this is where Tori Spelling shines. Although her heart and good intentions are in the right place, Katherine is no better than your less than average girl from a high school musical. Not since Meryl Streep’s performance as a bad actress in “Death Becomes Her”, I had seen somebody being so good at playing a bad performer. Yes, I just compared Tori Spelling with Meryl Streep, close your mouth and take your hands off your waist. I was never a fan of Tori Spelling, but after seeing her in this movie, I started keeping an eye on her career.

Later in the movie when he meets Mark, Gabriel changes the tone of the song, as it would appear he finally understands how love songs work in musicals.

“Enter You” By Tori Spelling

Song Title: Enter You – 1999   Genre: Soundtrack   Artist: Tori Spelling   Composer: Jason Schafer   Lyricist: Jason Schafer   Album:              Trick (Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Favourite Lyrics: Up went the curtain / My lines felt wrong / Intermission seemed so far away / Applause uncertain / The scenes too long / Life was like / an uninspiring play.              

Runners Up: Como Te Gusta Mi Pinga? • I Am Woman • Enter You (Finale) • Trick Of Fate


Theme From New York, New York – Frank Sinatra


Sorry, Liza but this one belongs to Frank Sinatra.

One Friday afternoon in late July 1980, my mother got us all in her car and off we went to a travel agency. She wanted to book us a trip to the United States. It didn’t matter where in the country. My father just wanted to stay away from Venezuela for a few weeks. After browsing through different brochures, we picked a holiday package that included the East Coast of the United States and a few Canadian near-the-border cities.

Within two weeks, we were arriving late one Sunday night at our first destination, New York City. The next morning we went on a bus tour of the city that ended near the Citi Bank building on Lexington Avenue. We had just seen a documentary on TV about the construction of the building, so it was cool to be standing on its grounds.

We approached a hot dog vendor to buy some water or sodas. His radio was on. Frank Sinatra’s version of Theme From New York, New York was playing on the radio. I had heard the Liza Minnelli version, but I think this was the first time I had heard Sinatra’s, which had dropped that summer. It was his version the one that popularised the song around the world.

The next day my brother, a cousin travelling with us, a friend who tagged along, and I went exploring the city. I recently wrote about the experience in a writing workshop.

Please read it here: Twice On Top Of The World

Song Title: Theme From New York, New York – 1977   Genre: Soundtrack   Artist: Frank Sinatra   Composer: John Kander   Lyricist: Fred Ebb   Album: Trilogy: Past, Present, & Future

Favourite Lyrics: These little town blues / Are melting away / I’ll make a brand new start of it / In old New York                 

Runners Up: What Kind of Fool Am I? • The Song Is You • Let’s Face The Music And Dance • All Of You • They All Laughed • Just The Way You Are • MacArthur Park • That’s What God Looks Like


Married Life – Orchestra

Up (Original Soundtrack)

Say, you’re doing an animated film and you need to establish the setup that will found the premise of your movie; without it, the movie would lack its soul. However, here’s the problem, the setup is a 60-year love story that needs to be told within the first ten minutes of the movie. After that, you have to quickly get on with the rest of the movie plot. How could you accomplish that? How about hiring Michael Giacchino to compose one of the most gorgeous bridges ever created to help a story move along?

If you haven’t seen it, please, check it out before you continue reading: Married Life.

I remember being overwhelmed by emotions the first time I saw this montage at the start of the movie. That is the thing with Disney animated films, although their main market is children, their movies have something for everybody. In “Up” the love story hooks the adults and the adventure hooks the kids. The backstory is dealt with right away, probably while the children are still unwrapping their candy; so by the time they start paying attention, the main theme is already developing. The music keeps driving you at an emotional level until the very end of the movie.

Song Title: Married Life – 2009   Genre: Soundtrack   Artist: Orchestra   Composer: Michael Giacchino Album: Up (Original Soundtrack)

Runners Up: Main Titles • The Two Faces of January • Tonight You Belong to Me • End Credits from Contact • Carol Ann’s Theme from Poltergeist • Vida mia • Tea for Two • This Could Be the Start of Something Big • Almost Like Being In Love • Thou Swell • Up With Titles • Carl Goes Up • The Nickel Tour • The Explorer Motel


Águas de Março – Antonio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina Top 10 Contender

Verve Jazz Masters 13_ Antonio Carlos Jobim

Although its lyrics don’t make much sense, this is one of the most beautiful melodies I’ve heard in a song. The rains of March not only announce the end of summer, but also the end of a life-cycle and the start of a new one. The waters of March will nourish the earth, so new things can grow and bloom for a year until the rain comes back the following summer and washes them away. Some people think the song refers to the journey we embark on year after year, waiting for death to arrive. Whatever the meaning of the song is, I’m glad I discovered it when I was a teenager. It has been a part of me since then.

Song Title: Águas de Março (Waters of March) – 1972   Genre: Bossa Nova   Artist: Antonio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina   Composer: Antonio Carlos Jobim   Lyricist: Antonio Carlos Jobim   Album: Verve Jazz Masters 13: Antonio Carlos Jobim

Favourite Lyrics: São as águas de março / Fechando o verão / E a promessa de vida / No teu coração.

They are the waters of March, / Closing summer / And the promise of life / in your heart.

Runners Up: Stuff We Did • Memories Can Weigh You Down • It’s Just a House • The Ellie Badge • Up With End Credits • Heigh-Ho, Everybody, Heigh-Ho • I’m Just A Vagabond Lover • Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries • Brother Can You Spare A Dime • Goodnight My Love • Main Title (from “Father Of The Bride”) • Main Titles (from “To Die For”) • Mr Selfridge • More


Around the World – Buddy Greco

The Very Best of Buddy Greco

I can’t believe I only discovered this song a few years ago. It was used during the first scene of the failed 2011 TV series PAN AM. It was the perfect song to highlight the era when flying was a glamour thing. Although the song comes from the 1956 movie “Around The World In Eighty Days” its lyrics are never heard in the film. It has a fabulous swing.

Song Title: Around the World – 1956   Genre: Soundtrack   Artist: Buddy Greco   Composer: Victor Young   Lyricist: Harold Adamson   Album: The Very Best of Buddy Greco

Favourite Lyrics: It might have been in County Down, / Or in New York, or gay Paree, / Or even London town.        

Runners Up: L.O.V.E. • I Didn’t Know What Time It Was • Satin Doll • Satin Doll • Love • She Loves Me • I Can’T Be Bothered Now • On The Radio • No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) • Bad Girls


Last Dance – Donna Summer – Top 10 Contender – 2nd Place Finish

VH-1 Presents_ Live & More Encore!

Life can go in phases, a few can be long, and others can be short. As I prepared to initiate another one of those phases, I can’t help but think about the one I’m about to close. It started in 1999, as I approached the new millennium. Not only the year 2000 was just around the corner, but that was the year I was going to turn 35.

I remember when I was a kid my siblings and I would gather around our black and white TV to watch The Jetsons and we would talk about the future after each episode, the year 2000 in particular. Oh, my lord, we were going to be antiques in the year 2000, my sister would be 39, my brother 37, and I’d be 35. My father, on the other hand, couldn’t wait for flying cars while my mother looked forward to buying a ‘Robot-ina’ to help her at home; that’s what they called Rosie in Spanish. In a way, I believe, I was pre-programmed to see the year 2000 as the start of a new era in my life. Being 35 probably meant that I had to start wrapping up my younger years and get ready for middle aged.

Early in July of 1999, Ronald, my partner, and I went to our friend Cheryl Cort’s 34th birthday bash. We were both the same age and her birthday was only a few days after mine. That year she had decided to throw a huge party. “Why for your 34th and not for your 35th?” we asked her. “This is the last year that I can say I’m in my 30s, next year I’ll be in my mid-thirties, I just wanted to have one last big party before that.” In retrospect, I’m not sure if she really meant it or if it was a joke, but I understood what she meant.

Later that month, I bought Donna Summer’s VH-1’s “Live & More Encore” album which included Last Dance. I hadn’t even paid much attention to the song since it first came out in the late 1970s. At the time it was a favourite, I’d play the “Thank God It’s Friday” record non-stop. As a young teenager I would enthusiastically dance to its disco beat in every party I was invited or crashed. When I heard its live version that summer in 1999 two things came to mind. First, this was probably the best song of the disco era, perhaps one of the best of the latter part of the century in general. Second, the 1970s had been a long time ago, and I remembered them clearly. I was officially old, I had already lived through history.

So, I guess it was the combination of arriving at a new century, hearing Cheryl’s explanation on why she was making a big celebration out of her 34th birthday, and rediscovering Last Dance, what made me choose 1999 as the official start of a new journey. A journey that I hope will continue taking me to newer destinations very soon.

As I write this entry, I’ve realised that perhaps Last Dance was the first song that I unknowingly packed in my suitcase, back in 1999. It will stay there as reminding me of my youth and prompting me to treat life as if every chance it offers me it’ll be my last.

Song Title: Last Dance – 1978   Genre: Soundtrack   Artist: Donna Summer   Composer: Paul Jabara   Lyricist:      Paul Jabara   Album: VH-1 Presents: Live & More Encore!

Favourite Lyric: So let’s dance, the last dance / Let’s dance, the last dance / Let’s dance, the last dance tonight     

Runners Up: Hot Stuff • My Life • Trust Me • Le Jazz Hot • Paris Hotel Suites/Paris Makes Me Horny • Louis Says • Chicago , Illinois • Victor / Victoria