Song of the Week – Little Girl Blue, Nina Simone


Christmas music is like Obamacare. Either you like it or you don’t – and no one is going to persuade you to change your mind about it. I happen to like holiday tunes. They even bring a smile to my face when one comes up on “shuffle” in July. But in deference to those of you that are on the other side, I offer a compromise.

Today’s SotW is “Little Girl Blue,” one of Nina Simone’s signature songs. It is an American songbook standard, written by Richard Rodgers and with lyrics by Lorenz Hart in 1935 for the Broadway musical Jumbo. So what does this show tune about time passing have to do with Christmas?

In the hands of Simone, a classically trained pianist, it is transformed into a quodlibet – a song that uses a combination of melodies from different tunes. In this instance, Simone uses the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” as the intro to the Rogers & Hart song.

This reminds me of the way Joni Mitchell used “Jingle Bells” to connect her breakup song “The River” to the wintry feel of the holiday season.

The SotW is a wonderful version of “Little Girl Blue,” beautifully played and skillfully sung by Simone. Whether you like holiday music or not, this recording will warm your holiday.

Enjoy… until next week.

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