Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Today’s songs are all love songs, starting with “The Theme from Love Story” (about love in sickness and in health), and followed by three Weiss Music Minutes: “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Waltz at Maxim’s” (both about the exhilaration of newly discovered love) and “Gigi” (about love suddenly realized.)
“The Theme from Love Story”, written by Francis Lai, kicks off our Valentine’s day songs. Love Story is considered one of the most romantic films ever by the American Film Institute (and the one that gave rise to the famous quote: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Still can’t understand that one!) This is the 1970 role that catapulted Ali McGraw to international fame. In fact, in 1972, MacGraw was voted the top female box office star in the world. I just realized that this timeless song may have been written in a classical fashion to coincide with the fact that MacGraw’s character was a student of classical music.
On this day in 1988 we lost Frederick Loewe, who composed the music for “I Could Have Danced All Night”. This is a love song from the musical My Fair Lady, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, published in 1956. The song is sung by the musical’s heroine, Eliza Doolittle, expressing her excitement after an impromptu dance with her tutor, Henry Higgins. Interestingly, in the 1964 film adaptation of the musical, the song was sung by Marni Nixon, dubbing the singing voice of Audrey Hepburn, who played Eliza Doolittle in one of her most memorable roles. Check out Audrey Hepburn doing the song on youtube – she does an excellent job of lip syncing, although I’ve read that she also had a great voice!
“Waltz At Maxim’s” is also by Lerner and Loewe. This delightful tune from the broadway play Gigi is another beautiful love song. I think the music alone accurately evokes this exciting feeling. I’ve included it as another Weiss Music Minute – Valentine’s Day edition, and also because the arpeggio I’ve added at the end is so fun to play!
“Gigi” is another memorable romantic song by Lerner and Loewe from the film Gigi (two other well known songs from the same film: “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and “I Remember It Well.”) By the way, in addition to My Fair Lady and Gigi, Lerner and Loewe also gave us Camelot. I spent so many hours listening to the songs from Camelot when I was a kid – now I know that I have Lerner and Loewe to thank. Thanks, boys!
P.S. If you haven’t seen Love Story, the movie that made Ali McGraw a star, buy a box of tissues first.