Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Poetry Wednesday

By Judith

The two song lyrics we're going to look at today were written by different people, but what brings them together is the composer, Bert Kaempfert, who recorded these and many other songs he wrote with his orchestra in the 1960s. And - this one's for you Badda - I'm going to tie him in to Frank Sinatra (of course) at the end.

I find these lyrics interesting because of their internal rhythm and rhyme scheme. Even without the music they move along with an infectious beat. The first, written by Kaempfert with Milt Gabler, was penned for Nat King Cole's last album in 1965. Notice the device of using the same word at the end of one line and the beginning of the next that provides emphasis and a strong push-off for the following line (" for two, two in love...") and the repeated, internal rhyme of "...make it, Take my heart and please don't break it". Not to mention the correct usage of "me and you", not "I and you" or "myself and you" as is so often used by people who have been scared into never using "me". (Actually, you and me flows better, but then doesn't rhyme. Oh well. Poetic license.)


L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore.

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don't break it
Love was made for me and you

The second song was written by Kurt Schwabach (with additional lyric by Milt Gabler) with Kaempfert and recorded in 1962. As with many of Kaempfert's songs, someone else made it famous. Remember 1963 when Wayne Newton was just a kid? Now the interesting thing about this is the mispronunciation of the German word "Schoen" (sounds like shern, not shane) in order to force the rhyme for "pain", "explain", "lane" and "again". To be fair, this isn't the first time it was done; the Andrews Sisters recorded a song called "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen" and also rhymed the last word with "explain".

This one is chock-full of internal rhyme and gives the impression that the singer (or speaker) is trotting down a staircase or skipping a stone on water. You want to move, even while reading it sitting down.

Danke Schoen

Danke Schoen, Darling, Danke Schoen.
Thank you for all the joy and pain.
Picture shows, second balcony, was the place we'd meet,
Second seat, go Dutch treat, you were sweet.

Danke Schoen, Darling, Danke Schoen.
Save those lies, Darling don't explain.
I recall, Central Park in fall.
How you tore your dress, what a mess, I confess. That's not all.

Danke Schoen, Darling, Danke Schoen.
Thank you for walks down Lover's Lane.
I can see, hearts carved on a tree.
Letters inter-twined, for all time, yours and mine, that was fine.

Danke Schoen, Darling, Danke Schoen.
Thank you for seeing me again.
Though we go on our seperate ways,
Still the memory stays, for always, my heart says, Danke Schoen.

Danke Schoen, Oh Darling, Danke Schoen.
I said, Thank you for seeing me again.
Though we go- on our seperate ways,
Still the memory stays, for always, my heart says, Danke Schoen.
Danke Schoen, Auf Wiedersehen, Danke Schoen.

Kaempfert wrote a number of other songs that ended up big hits for other people. "Moon Over Naples" became "Spanish Eyes", recorded by Al Martino and "A Swingin' Safari" reached # 13 on the charts as recorded by Billy Vaughn in 1962. Later that year the song gained even more fame when it became the theme for the game show "The Match Game". When the Beatles were performing and recording in Hamburg in the early 60s, a Croat singer named Ivo Robic convinced Kaempfert to hire them to be back-up for a singer named Tony Sheridan in a recording session. Ivo Robic also co-authored a famous song to be used as part of the score Kaempfert wrote for a movie in 1965 A Man Could Get Killed.

So where does Frank Sinatra come in? That song in the film was "Strangers in the Night", a # 1 hit for ol' blue eyes.

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