IT’S ONLY A PAPER MOON, ELLA FITZGERALD

Musical Marker – We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014?


It’s been a long time since I followed pop music. For a long time, when it was all rap and hip-hop, I didn’t like it and didn’t listen to it. Now, to a large extent, I’ve gone back to listening to the music I grew up with.

Classical music. Beethoven. Mozart. And the romantics — Chopin. Bach. We do listen to some golden oldies from our younger days too. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Beatles. Folk, some country. Quite a mix, really.

But nothing will connect me to this time and place except one song. It has — quite out of the blue — become a symbol of this warm, bright summer. I’ve used it twice in posts and I’ll put it here, just once more with the lyrics.

There is something about the words that seem to target my reality. Maybe it will touch your, too.


 

It’s Only A Paper Moon

Say, it’s only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it’s only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It’s a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It’s a melody played in a penny arcade

It’s a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Say, it’s only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it’s only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It’s a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It’s a melody played in a penny arcade

It’s a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

It’s phony it’s plain to see
How happy I would be
If you believed in me.

Songwriters
KAMMERMEIER, ARNO / HAYO, PETER / MERZIGER, WALTER

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., S.A. MUSIC, NEXT DECADE ENTERTAINMENT,INC.

 



Categories: Music, Summer

Tags: , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. It’s amazing how our music tastes change as we experience different moments in our life and how those songs connect us to memories. But Ella is eternal. This post would be great for the Singing Saturday Challenge for music inspired posts.

    Like

  2. It was also a time when songs had real melodies, good musical arrangements, not to mention the quality and talent of the musicians playing same. Listen to that horn section and her beautiful voice. Whoo Boy!

    Like

    • I love this recording. There are a lot of recordings of Paper Moon, but this is my favorite. I loved the the long instrumental section. They don’t do that on recordings anymore. And that is Ella at the top of her form. AND I love the words. They say something and it resonates.

      Like

  3. Beautiful, my Dad use to sing me this song!!

    Like

  4. A magical time for music. We had this on a ’78.

    Like

  5. Hi Marilyn,
    That was quite a different time. Love the music and just loved Ella.
    Leslie

    Like

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