Saturday, June 6, 2009

#71: Getting to Be a Habit With Me

Oh, I can't break away
I must have you everyday
As regularly as coffee or tea
You've got me in your clutches
And I can't break free
You're getting to be a habit with me

Fifty years before Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and a year before Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out of You," Harry Warren and Al Dubin captured the narcotic virtues of romance in this soft-shoe-like number from that classic show within a show, 42nd Street. I love those eighth-note triplets ("getting to be," "regularly") that give the song such daintiness. Performed twice in the movie, the second time features the female lead being charmed by one man, and then another, and then two more. What kind of habit is that?

While it never rose above No. 4 on the charts in 1933 (Warren and Dubin's "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" was more popular), this piece has since endured as a classic, performed by Frank Sinatra in the Fifties, Diana Krall in the Nineties and the jazz-bossa nova Brazilian group, Delicatessen, in 2006. I like listening to Ben Selvin's orchestra and "America's Sweetheart of Song," Ruth Etting, on the Victrola. You can learn more about Etting (pictured) and her tempestuous life by watching Doris Day's performance in the 1955 film, Love Me or Leave Me.

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