The Songs o' Valentines Day
Continuing on with great love songs for Valentines Day that you don't know. With more to come --
After posting three light-hearted songs, I thought I should get around what people more expect from loves songs. And here are a couple of songs that are about as romantic as they get.
The first might be a bit known to some, but it's not not well-known at all. I've also posted it here previously, but I can't let that stop me on Valentines Day, since I think it's it one of the most utterly gorgeous love songs ever written for a Broadway musical. This is "When Did I Fall in Love" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning musical, Fiorello!, written by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who famously wrote Fiddler on the Roof.
In this song, Thea has married Fiorello LaGuardia, in largely a marriage of convenience, almost as much out of appreciation as anything. But over the course of a short time, and now that he has been elected to Congress, she slowly and then suddenly realizes that she is passionately in love with the man.
The song is beautiful under any circumstances, but takes on great depth in context. Because a scene or two after singing this song, Thea takes ill and tragically dies at a much-too early age.
Here is Ellen Hanley, with "When Did I Fall in Love"
And here's the second in our "These are really incredibly romantic songs" (that you haven't likely heard of). And oddly, this one too has the reality of death at its edges.
It comes from Titanic. No, not the film, but that same year there was a terrific stage musical written by Maury Yeston that won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It was a really good year for the Titanic. If only it didn't have to sink.
As for sinking, that's when this song takes place. There is an elderly couple on board -- you may recall them from the film -- Isador and Ida Straus. (He was the co-owner of Macy's department store, by the way.) There is a seat on a life boat for her, but she refuses to go. They won't be parted. They've spent so much of their lives together, and if one of them is to die, they both will stay together, always.
And so they sing this achingly beautiful song, "Still." This is Larry Keith and Alma Cuervo.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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