Friday, September 28, 2012

Lover's Concerto

Lover's Concerto Kelly Chen version on YouTube

3:33 a.m.
Vaguely I remember having heard Lover's Concerto for the first time way back in third grade. It was 1965 and a classmate seemed to know the lyrics to the catchy tune, which had been dominating air time then. I  encountered the tune recently in a splendid HBO presentation of the film Mr. Holland's Opus. Music teacher Glenn Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss, played the tune in 3/4 beat on piano and asked his class for the title of the song; most answered Lover's Concerto. "Wrong," he said, "it's Bach's Minuet in G." The minuet is faster than the modern Concerto's 4/4 beat.

How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadows
Birds high up on the trees
Serenade the trees with their melodies...

The playful lilt and cadence of the "hook-laden" lyrics, as intended, latched onto my schoolboy memory, to be held to finer scrutiny by Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia decades later, after I saw Mr. Holland's Opus, which replaced Close Encounter of the Third Kind as my favorite Richard Dreyfuss film.

Here's a scene from that film:

Mr. Holland was talking about music, but he might as well expounding on all the arts -- painting, sculpture, dance, architecture, dance, anything that makes life worthwhile, beautiful, and, as the song says, just as wonderful.

When I go through the Lover's Concerto lyrics, I remember the laughter induced by the zany poems of Lewis Caroll and William Lear, who appear in my mind  is transmuted into simple delight by the song, particularly the Kelly Chen version in YouTube. Images from old memories made vivid by technology. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Twitter of birdsongs. Treasures everywhere.

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