Summertime, by Janis Joplin (song of the weeeeek!)

It's been stuck in my head and it's one of my favorite songs. I love George Gershwin's "Summertime" anyway, but Janis Joplin really puts her mark on it in this version. It is so languid, so gorgeous, so haunting. Janis of course sticks in some of her weird scatting to make sure it can never really be replicated. (I really REALLY love Janis Joplin. She was there for me at a tender time in my teens when I needed a rough-yet-soft anti-role model with a crazy life and an amazing voice.) Do you think the pizzicato guitar at the beginning sounds a bit fugue-ish, a bit like Bach?

I sing this song to my children all the time as a lullaby. My version leans more toward Sarah Vaughan. I like to drawl the "easy," (eazaa-a-ay) and tone-paint up an octave on "high" (hi-EEEE). It is a great lullaby. I love the lyric "Your daddy's rich/ And your mama's good-looking." So reassuring. Rise up singing people!

Last note: Sean Penn uses this song to great effect in his 2-hour-plus epic Indian Runner. I like to brag about Indian Runner because it's when I first fell for Viggo Mortensen. YEARS before he caught everyone's eye as Aragorn son of Arathorn. I saw him first! ;-)

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