The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin

The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin


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The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
amazon Berlin lyrics Jerome Kern was not one to compliment other composers. However, when he was asked to assess Irving Berlin's place in American music, Kern replied that Berlin WAS American music. Not too long ago, the A&E channel did two 'Classroom' broadcasts about Berlin's life; and by a coincidence, several items concerning this prolific composer have recently come my way. I want to share one of them with you. It is a wonderful book from publisher Alfred A. Knopf titled 'The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin,' edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet (one of the composer's three daughters). Now, considering that this man wrote well over a thousand songs, that is quite a bit of material for a single volume. But this one measures roughly 11' by 12' and holds 530 pages, which hold three columns of text. In this way, we get the lyrics to 1,200 songs for which he wrote both words and the music (only a few early songs were set to words by others). The organization is chronological and intelligently packaged. Unlike Rodgers, Kern and Gershwin, Berlin wrote for Tin Pan Alley as well as for the stage. Therefore the editors have grouped the lyrics by 'Songs' that were not intended for a specific show or film and by songs that were. So for 1914, for example, you will get all the independent songs composed that year in one chapter and those written for 'Watch Your Step' the same year in a separate chapter. Even more welcome are the lyrics to many songs that were never published! It makes fascinating reading to surmise why these had to wait until this book came along to see the light of day. To make this book even more valuable, each song is given a little preface concerning copyright dates and other items of interest to the American musical historian. And you will love the full-page photographs that stand at the start of each chapter. There is also an introductory essay and a very useful chronology at the start of the book, while the index at the end can help you locate in the body of the book any song by title with no trouble. So while Berlin's lyrics might not be as clever as those of Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart or Ira Gershwin, many of them will bring back memories of how Americans felt almost from the start to the finish of the last century. (Take note. Knopf also has available similar tomes for the lyrics of Porter, Hart, and I. Gershwin. Each one is a definite Grabbit.