Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
I first played this song at a wedding last week, early doors, worried that the continuous reversion to the drumming theme would eventually bore the dancers and make them drift away.
I loved it, found the drums excitingly sinister, like the threat of an unseen enemy hiding in the forest or just over the hill, and the brass breaks a defiance against the enemy at the door. Although this track was recorded in Hollywood in 1937, to me it always feels like Blitz London in 1941 with everyone living life to the full, knowing each day might be their last. And this wild abandon in the face of our impending doom is unleashed every time we hear it, even today.
The wedding guests definitely loved it too, getting more and more excited with each drum break, and when the cowbell came in near the end they went bananas.
Which is no surprise seeing that the 1936 original of the song was written and performed by New Orleans trumpeter and band Leader Louis Prima, later to find immortality as King Louis - the King of the Swingers in Walt Disney's Jungle Book.
In the absence of his words, I'll substitute suitable lines from Omar Khayyam (11th Century), translated (and interpreted) by Edward Fitzgerald back in 1872. Things don't change, let alone the feverish release that Benny Goodman and co bring to this tune.
"Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted -'' Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more." "