Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Black Coffee

Three versions (from best to worst, in my humble opinion):

Admittedly I prefer Sarah Vaughan's voice to Peggy Lee's, but I find the instrumentation on hers too ostentatious for the piece. Perhaps it's merely trying to match her presence, but I find pieces like this best suited to a minimalist accompaniment.

Ella... what can I say. Hers is the only version that includes the last verse quoted below. I think the reason Peggy wins, for me, is that I find her the most believable-- she sounds utterly, in a way the others don't, perhaps because they're focusing more on musicality, like a woman chain smoking and drinking coffee for days at a time. There's a resigned malaise that hasn't yet crossed over to numbness in hers that draws it nearer to me.
I'm feeling mighty lonesome,
haven't slept a wink,
I walk the floor and watch the door
and in between I drink
black coffee.
Love's a hand me down brew.
I'll never know a Sunday
in this weekday room. 
I'm talking to the shadows,
1 o'clock to 4,
and Lord, how slow the moments go
when all I do is pour
black coffee
since the blues caught my eye
I'm hanging out on Monday
my Sunday dreams to dry. 
Now a man is born to go a lovin',
a woman's born to weep and fret,
to stay at home and tend her oven,
and drown her past regrets
in coffee and cigarettes. 
I'm moonin' all the morning
mournin' all the night,
and in between it's nicotine
and not much heart to fight.
Black coffee
Feelin' low as the ground
It's driving me crazy, this waiting for my baby
to maybe come around. 
My nerves have gone to pieces,
my hair is turning gray.
All I do is drink black coffee
since my man's gone away.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely thought at first you were referring to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4u62e5WYQo