Monday, May 26, 2008

Stormy weather

We’ve had stormy weather for several days now, usually in the afternoon. Tonight, we finally were able to take a walk.
Everything clean, wet, fragrant. Birds singing. Swallows circling and swooping overhead. Mourning dove’s call echoing through the neighborhood. Mood of spring.

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Can’t go on, ev’ry thing I had is gone
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain’t together,
Keeps rainin’ all the time
-Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler

Stormy days remind me of this song, which has been performed by so many over the years. Ethel Waters first sang it at the Cotton Club in Harlem in the 1930s. Later, Lena Horne sang it in the movie, "Stormy Weather," which was loosely based on the life of Bill Bojangles Robinson, innovator and supreme master of tap dance. This film has an amazing dance scene by the Nicholas Brothers; also has performances by Cab Calloway and Fats Waller. Fred Astaire later said the dance sequence by the Nicholas Brothers was "the finest piece of tap dancing ever filmed."

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