Second installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
Cole Albert Porter is probably the greatest American songwriter of all time, although some can claim that title to George and Ira Gershwin or Irving Berlin.
However, on a more personal note it was Cole Porter’s songs that made me first interest in learning English. Of course, that was due to a huge influence of my father who was always telling me what those songs were about.
I can clearly remember when dad bought the book “The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter” (which is the size of a coffee-table book, by the way) and much more than a few times I used to grab that book and read the lyrics for hours. I was about 10. I still know the lyrics by heart of a lot of Cole Porter tunes, especially those in the two volumes of Ella Fitzgerald singing the Cole Porter songbook.
Which brings an interesting thing to the table: Cole Porter’s music is brilliant, but to me, personally, his real genius lies on his beautiful and creative lyrics. If you want any proof of that just look at the way he plays with words in a song like “Let’s Do It”. And how about all the references within “You’re The Top”? Only a true genius can put “King Kong penis” and “Mickey Mouse” in the same lyric and get away with it (by the way this lyric is enormous and I don’t think anybody ever recorded it in full).
And how about a wonderful neologism like “de-lovely”? The song plays with words with the prefix “de”, like delightful, delicious and delirious. But only a superior mind would think of putting a “delovely” there.
De-Lovely is also the name of his biopic starring Kevin Kline in the main role. And speaking of movies, how about the guy interpreting Cole in “Midnight in Paris”? It’s so funny. Woody Allen is a huge Cole Porter fan.
When asked once who his favorite songwriter of all time was, Paul McCartney (aka GOD) simply answered: “Cole Porter”. ‘Nuff said.
Welcome to the Hall, Cole. It’s de-lovely in here.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.
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