Sunday, September 6, 2009

#67: Let's Fall in Love

Let's fall in love
Why shouldn't we fall in love?
Our hearts are made of it
Let's take a chance

Why be afraid of it?
Let's close our eyes

And make our own paradise

Little we know of it

Still we can try

To make a go of it

After meeting model and showgirl Anya Taranda, it was probably easy for Harold Arlen to write songs with his frequent collaborator Ted Koehler for the 1933 film, Let's Fall in Love. Harold, born Chaim Arnook in Buffalo, apparently yearned for Anya when he was in Hollywood and she in New York as he wrote the score. But he took his time proposing -- after five years into their relationship, he left her a note: "Dearest Anya - We're getting married tomorrow - 'bout time don't you think? All my love, H." They did marry, a year before Arlen was hired to write what was to become his best-known score, The Wizard of Oz.

Not to be confused with Cole Porter's "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)," Koehler and Arlen's was not only the title song from the 1933 film with Art Jarrett and Ann Sothern, but it also charted at #21 when Peaches and Herb recorded it in 1967. The whole conceit of the song -- the presumption that you cannot fall in love unless you decide to do so -- is as innocent and sweet as the naivete that the singer professes ("the little we know of it"). One of the only rhyming couplets is a stretch ("close our eyes...paradise"), only heightening the feeling of awkward, new love to this song. Take a seat and listen to Diana Krall at the 2008 Sonoma Jazz Festival, or try American Idol's crooner, John Stevens, and Erika Christensen.

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