Thursday, August 30, 2007

200/365 Dat Dere

Hey mama, what’s that there?
And what’s that doing there?

Hey mama, up here!
Mama, hey look at that over there!

And what’s that doing there?

And where’re they going there?

And mummy can I have that big elephant over there?

Who’s that in my chair?

And what’s he doing there?

Mummy, up here!

Mummy, can I go over there?

Hey mummy, what is square?

And where do we get air?

And mummy can I have that big elephant over there?

I love this song. It’s been around longer than I have, which gives it a bit of that “always been there” feeling. But I have to admit that until recently, I had taken for granted that it was written as a song—music and lyrics together. If it has words, it always did, right? Well, digging into its past, I discovered I was dead wrong about that.

Of course I’d heard Art Blakey play it. I didn’t realize that the guy who wrote it—the tune—was part of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, pianist Bobby Timmons. A little later, Oscar Brown Jr. added the lyrics. (Susan, no doubt, knows all this. Duh.)

I think the only recording I have of it is Rickie Lee Jones, and I love love love her cover (channeling Eloise now). It’s on Pop Pop. I have a strange memory of the first time I heard this CD. I was with my friends Janet and Jeff, and they took me to their friend’s apartment—was her name Ann? Had she and her partner broken up? Because I remember him, but not his name, and I think she lived in a house across the park with him before. Anyway, we’re in this basement apartment. It’s summer, it must be hot, but not as hot as it could be, because, as I said, it’s a basement apartment. Ann is there, and she puts this CD on, and all of us and Ann’s dog, which is some kind of basset hound, maybe, some kind of Hush Puppies dog, all of us just sit there as the sun goes down, and it goes down, and no one moves to turn on the light, and there is just this mellow CD of Rickie Lee Jones singing all these wonderful standards, most of which are slow moving but fluffy like clouds. Hi-lili, hi-lili, hi-lo. And I must must must have this CD, ooooooooooooooooooo I absolutely love this song.

So first, here’s Rickie Lee Jones, words and all, being fabulous, and second, for good measure and more fabulousness, here’s the classic by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.


Bridgett said...

That is an amazing tune; I'd never heard it before. It's like she's been living in my house for the last 6 months.

Indigo Bunting said...

LOL! I can only imagine...

Helen said...

The only thing I ever heard Rickie Lee Jones sing before was Chuck E's in Love. My ears are being opened.

Indigo Bunting said...

Yeah, I never liked Chuck E's. Seemed kinda silly (like this isn't). To be honest, this is the only RLJ CD I have...and she's fabulous on it. Perhaps I should give her more of a shot elsewhere...