Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter from Irving, Fred, Bing, (and the Guys at Kings)

Irving Berlin gave us our one great pop culture Easter song, Easter Parade, published in 1933 and first sung in the Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer, the same year. As my mother told me long ago, Berlin first wrote the melody way back in 1917 with lyrics, "Smile and Show Your Dimple." It was a flop, but he was smart enough to bring back the lilting tune for the revue.

Berlin then used it in his 1942 film Holiday Inn as the Easter song, with Bing Crosby singing to Marjorie Reynolds.

The song then become the basis for the story for the 1948 film from Charles Walters and Arthur Freed with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.  It is for the me the epitome of the movie musical. Every number is a classic. It's where I learned word "rotogravure" as a kid and loved seeing the shot of St. Patrick's Cathedral "on the avenue, Fifth Avenue."

In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest fella in the Easter Parade
I'll be all in clover and when they look us over
We'll be the proudest couple in the Easter Parade

On the avenue, Fifth Avenue, the photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the guy, I'm taking to the Easter Parade

And, just because they are so good, the men & boy's from King's College, Cambridge, because it's not Easter without the Hallelujah Chorus. Happy Easter to all who celebrate, and everyone can enjoy the great music.