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The initially Peggy Lee song I’d knowingly listened to was her incredibly upbeat therapy of “Fever”, which I’d took pleasure in. So I was looking forward to even more of the very same once the radio DJ announced one more Peggy Lee track was on the way.
The more sombre hues of “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” stopped me in my tracks a small, and at initially I tuned it out. Don’t be also hard on me…I was only a teenager…and listening to Peggy Lee at all as soon as everyone else was listening to the Damned and the Buzzcocks was already somepoint of an act of rebellion on my component.
But in the years because, I’ve involved appreciate what a truly great song “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” really is…also, I’m sorry to say, much much better than “Fever” which is what gained me interested in Peggy Lee in the first location.
Next off time “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” came on the radio, I listened with a various mindset. It was on a programme dedicated to the songs of Jerome Kern…not sung by Peggy Lee, yet still the exact same song via almost precisely the exact same arrangement and also orchestration.
By this point, my musical interests had actually advanced sufficiently that I recognised Jerome Kern’s name as one of the best composers of the 20th century. I chose to offer the song one more possibility, especially when the announcer discussed that its lyrics were by one of my lyric composing heroes, Oscar Hammerstein.
But the delights of “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” weren’t over yet. A couple of weeks later on, I heard the song aacquire, this time on a radio present about the works of Nelboy Riddle…one of the best orchestral arrangers of all time, who made his name at Capitol Records via the best singers on the roster of that the majority of wonderful of record companies, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and also Nat King Cole.
Nelboy Riddle was renowned for his skill in making an orchestra swing…a lot of the characteristic Sinatra’s “swing” was at leastern as a lot down to Nelkid Riddle’s masterful arrangements, simply as much as it was to Frank Sinatra’s own undoubted vocal talents…yet “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” was offered in this programme as the counterallude to the even more punchy up-tempo numbers Nelchild Riddle is probably more well known for.
And the presenter taught me a critical lesboy that’s remained with me to this day…although you could not think so from my rambling development to this excellent song…which is that much less deserve to be more.
The talent in the orchestration for “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” is the restraint Nelson Riddle deploys. He doesn’t open up the valves full throttle and let the orchestra gallop right into the distance…although he confirmed on various other records he was more than capable of doing that.
Instead he provided a luscious, but sporadic, orchestration to help us attach through the land also of “what if?” that lives deep inside us all.
The eactivity in the orchestra’s restraint was something we could all feel. It opened up the more wistful side of our natures, however didn’t preoccupy our thoughts by being also busy as that would certainly have distracted us from the deep reasoning that needed to be done.
Nelboy Riddle could have actually opened up the door, yet Peggy Lee led us through it by the hand through her gentle, dreamy, practically hypnotic performance. She leads us prefer a hypnotherapist with the bymeans of our minds and also helps us affix with the point we’d been trying to find all along…
“The Folks Who Live On The Hill” is about an idealised life. Nowadays we have actually Instagram for that, yet back in 1957, once Peggy Lee taped the song for her “The Man I Love” album, we made carry out through songs to lead us to imaginary locations where we might be happy and also content.
You had to be pretty well-to-do to own a house on a hill, also ago in 1957 so the fairy tale lifelong romance which “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” explains wasn’t most likely any kind of even more common then than it is this day. But finding someone who loves us absolutely, someone distinct to spend the remainder of our life through, is no much less a goal for eexceptionally huguy being on the world this particular day than it was 60 years back.
It’s also quite an aspirational song, in the materialistic feeling of that word, at a time when everyone in America…or so it seemed…was benefiting from the boom times of the Eisenhower years. Well-paying work abounded and a comfortable middle class lifestyle was well within the grasp of anyone all set to occupational tough enough.
Oscar Hammerstein described those positive hopes for the future like this…
Someday we’ll develop a homeOn a hilltop high, you and IShiny and new, a cottage that two deserve to fillAnd we’ll be pleased to be called“The folks that live on the hill”
That was the dream in the America of the late 1950s…a nice new house, high on a hill. Being the kind of perkid others looked up to…both figuratively and also literally.
It doesn’t come throughout so well as soon as the lyrics are composed down, however part of Oscar Hammerstein’s genius was the was he functioned through Jerome Kern’s musical phrasing to make the “hill” from “hilltop” rhymes via “fill” and the “hill” in the final line of the first verse. There’s additionally a little bit of internal rhyming going on via “new” and “two”.
In the hands of a singer less able than Peggy Lee, this can have been a bit of a stretch, but she sings the words choose they were intended to be phrased prefer that all along.
There’s nopoint forced…no gaudy reflecting off her vocal skills…however Peggy Lee’s understated performance of this exquiwebsite musical phrasing is vastly even more impressive than if she’d belted out specifically the same words nestled inside a more up-beat composition.
Although I began out thinking “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” was underwhelming compared to Peggy Lee’s performance of “Fever”, in the years because I first heard both songs, I’ve done a complete 180 on that.
“Fever” is a perfectly decent song. However before “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” is among the many delightful musical treats you could ever hope to uncover in a lifetime listening to music.
Perhaps that’s not as well surpclimbing provided the “dream team” of Jerome Kern, Osautomobile Hammerstein, Nelson Riddle and also Peggy Lee behind it…however also for an range of talents that excellent, songs favor “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” don’t come alengthy all that regularly.
Our veranda will certainly command also a view of meadows greenThe type of check out that appears to desire to be seenAnd as soon as the children prosper up and leave usWe’ll sit and look at the same old viewJust we two
Oscar Hammerstein defined a life well lived. Your own home, high on a hill, the joy of elevating children together, and also then, in your later on years, taking the deepest of pleasure in just sharing the firm of the perboy you’ve loved all your life, gazing out together throughout the valley wbelow you made your life and also increased your family members.
“The Folks Who Live On The Hill” is a song that’s easy to overlook the initially time you hear it. I know that’s what I did all those years back.
It’s not flashy. It’s not raucous. It doesn’t grab your attention.
You could have it on quietly in the background and hardly alert it.
But, looking earlier currently, I’m glad I captured “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” again a few weeks after my initially hearing of it and also listened via a different level of understanding than I’d had the first time round.
There’s so a lot emotion hidden in the song’s vocal and also musical restraint that I can confidently say it’s among the a lot of beautiful documents ever made at that renowned building at 1750 Vine Street in Los Angeles…and also via the roster of stars who relocated with tright here in the 1950s and 60s, that’s rather an accolade.
Whatever you’re doing, sheight it appropriate currently and also take the moment to listen to this song without any kind of distractions. If you enable yourself to sink gently into this beautiful song, you’ll be giving your soul a treat it will certainly thank you for.
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Here’s Peggy Lee singing Jerome Kern and also Osauto Hammerstein’s complace, with orchestration by Nelkid Riddle… “The Folks Who Live On The Hill”…
The video is below, however if you prefer you have the right to listen to the track on Spotify here… https://open up.spotify.com/track/4Pi9CGvYrL5gSMBjkoshok
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