Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I've been hearing the song for over forty years, first in the hit version by the Platters, from the fifties, though the song's somewhat older than that. My brother was a big Platters fan and owned their Greatest Hits album (which also included "Twilight Time," co-written by our distant relative Al Nevins). I've heard many versions of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" over the years, both instrumental and vocal, but I never thought too much about the lyrics, even though I could recite them by heart. I never thought too much about them until this morning, that is.

On the subway I was listening to an exquisite rendition by Clifford Brown. It was an instrumental version, but the lyrics, second nature after all these years, played out in my head. And all of a sudden, toward the end of the chorus, one particular line struck me as rather bizarre, or at least troubling: "Now laughing friends deride tears I cannot hide..."

Whoa, Nellie. What kind of friends would laugh at you and deride tears you cannot hide?

Those are no friends.

Fuck 'em.


Anonymous Alex said...

Seriously, fuck those guys. What are they, in middle school?

10:30 AM  

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