Thursday, March 15, 2018

Down and up

“I’m down to the bottom of my sound, but I’m up to the clearest understanding of my life”: the singer Sylvia Syms, at the age of seventy-four, a month before her death. Syms is quoted in the liner notes to a CD reissue of her 1959 LP Torch Song.

Here’s a performance of “Skylark” (Hoagy Carmichael–Johnny Mercer) from late in Syms’s life. And here, a whole step higher, is a “Skylark” from earlier years. Syms died on May 10, 1992, while receiving a standing ovation after a performance in the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room.

The horror of the news these days makes me especially susceptible to the beauty of music. I can’t hear these performances without tearing up. How about you?

comments: 2

The Crow said...

Wow, what a voice! When it's time to go, to die, what better way to pass on than doing what you love and being in the middle of a standing ovation. Thank you for the pointers, Michael; my day is off to a wonderful start. (This is one of my favorite songs, first heard Julie London sing it many years ago.)

Michael Leddy said...

You can imagine how many times I’ve listened to “Skylark” in the last few days. :)