I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle based on the novel by Dodie Smith Book and lyrics Teresa Howard music Steven Edis

Friday, 6 February 2009

Essential Songs

In this time of economic crisis it seems best to concentrate on creating new work, and try not to feel daunted. Although this is difficult at times. Steve and I have decided to write four songs for the new musical, and some of the major scenes. The draft structure and background have already been written. Steve is working on the music for the first song and I am on to the lyrics for the second.

The new musical is set in the 1930's which was a golden age for brilliant songs. It is also a strange coincidence that it was also the time of the last massive economic depression and we decided to start writing this show long before the crash. I think people really need music and songs when life is difficult. I have spent a lot of time listening to music from this era and somehow it seems to have seeped into me now and is leaking out in the new lyrics. I don't want this show to be a pastiche of 1930's songs but do feel that there should be a feel of them - which is what we did with Possessed, except it was the 19th Century rather than the 1930's!

It is curious how many 1930's songs got revived and updated in such a way that we have almost lost sight of the fact that they were created so long ago. There is a brilliant Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker) number called My Funny Valentine which I never realised was a 1930's song written by Rogers and Hart. And the Bryan Ferry number "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach. This song came from a musical I had never heard of called Roberta, which, curiously enough is based on a book by Alice Duer Miller, an American Suffragette!

The best book of 1930's vocal scores appears to be a book called "Essential Songs - The 1930's" published by Hal Leonard which includes over 90 songs, but I couldn't get it in this country and had to send for a copy from the States. It includes a lot of my real favourites including: Stormy Weather, The Very Thought of You, My Funny Valentine, Georgia on my Mind, In the Still of the Night....oh and so many more!

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