X,Y and Z

YASNI KOZKOLAI
(CARPATHIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM)

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(1963)
The Girl Who Came to Supper, 1963 (near start of Act I)
Unpubl.
This is a brief little fanfare, in song, purporting to be the Carpathian National Anthem, sung by his entourage as the Grand Duke proceeds backstage to meet the cast of the American musical, ‘The Coconut Girl’. Cf. ‘Chauve-Souris’ (‘Osh Con Broshka’) from This Year of Grace. The 4-part vocal harmonisations may have been scored by Matz.
OCR 20: Ensemble (1963)

YODELLING SONG
See JOURNEY'S END

YOU AND I

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1960, intended for Later Than Spring
later included in Sail Away, but cut before the show reached New York
Unpubl. MS
A duet, in moderato waltz tempo. Refrain only. This song is rather a surprising “unknown” in the archives. Think gondolas and mandolins. The musical setting presents a perfect little serenade. The intended stage-setting of the song is unclear, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it had been Venice. The sentiment is “we have moved together through a private dream … nothing can ever take from it this memory we hold”.
NC achieves the mandolin effect by harmonising the simply waving melody in thirds and by a really well-chosen static chordal accompaniment on tonic A and E7. The rhythmic setting at the start of the main phrase bewilders slightly, but underneath the confusion the piece falls into perfect 8-bar phrases, and the form is A,A,B,C,A. In the B and C phrases, passages of faster lyrics also have purposeful and characteristic keychanges, and use of forceful chromatic harmonies to the words “it [the memory] is ours alone”.
This is a song with distinct character, and would be on my list for being rescued from obscurity.

YOU AND YOU ALONE
See Appendix 1.b

YOU, LOVE, FOR EVER A PART OF ME
See DRINKING SONG

YOU WERE THERE

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(1936)
Tonight at 8.30: Shadow Play 1936 (NC & Gertrude Lawrence)
Sep.publ.
NCSB
NCG1
VS CC
NCR
NC’s own description of this was "a pleasant, sentimental little song - and we both enjoyed doing it."
Actually it’s more than just that, since it is also probably his neatest and most felicitous “standard form” song, and marks a sort of apogee in NC’s composition of the strain of dance-orientated revue numbers of the 20s. But it is also a love-song of very graceful charm, an element that surfaces also in other work written around the same time, for his partnership with Gertrude Lawrence (e.g. ‘Then’, ‘We Were Dancing’).
It is a genuinely happy-at-being-in-love song, and therefore unusual for NC! From the start of its verse, it is impossible to sing it convincingly if you try to observe the note-values in the printed editions – it just doesn’t make lyric sense to sing it that way. This merely proves the inadequacy of the average printed edition to do more than provide a guide to interpreters, when NC’s music starts being theatrical, as it certainly is in the verse section: only two 8-bar phrases, but well-structured and with a lovely pentatonic moment in its penultimate bar which is probably the best of these moments he ever devised. It is the one moment of doubt in the entire piece.
The happiness of the refrain is on account of a lovely balancing-act: first of all, three slow notes, the last one held on, then the release of a light skipping away up the scale, and the final note of all rising still further instead of the anticipated falling back. This main theme phrase wafts you away with a flick of its wrist, and is instantly memorable. The other phrases that follow are also good: in the ‘B’ section more static melodic lines surround waves of visionary imagining, while the final ‘C’ section (“False became true”, etc.) is a classic of songline construction: a simple idea, repeated with a build-up, repeated again with a slightly different build-up and an extension which is also the neatest of endings.
There is a problem with the printed accompaniments for this final ‘C’ section, where the given chording is decidedly wierd. This is because this must have been the way NC played the song himself, with two wildly “inappropriate” uses of his favourite progression – the dominant 5#7 going to ‘a tonic’” – in close succession. No one else could have invented this harmonic setting, and I bet that’s the way NC told Elsie April to transcribe it. Early recordings including OCR/NCR also perpetuate this wierd chording. It was later given an improved harmonic setting by Hackforth (observable on NCR 34) (& see DV for further details), but unlike some other improvements this one never reached NCSB.
ONR 137 was recorded even before the OCR 09 by nearly a month, but they were both the Phoenix Theatre Orchestra conducted by Clifford Greenwood. We have been unable to explain this anomaly. Of the modern performances, Michael Law (ONR 09a) delivers the charm the piece needs, to a neat and graceful self-accompaniment, and avoids all musical pitfalls.
ONR137: Sam Browne + orch. (20 Dec 1935)
ONR 08: R. Ashley + Carroll Gibbons orch. (9 Jan 1936)
OCR 09/NCR15 & 16: G. Lawrence & NC (15 Jan 1936)
NCR 34: (in medley) pno. acc. Norman Hackforth (1951)
ONR 22: Laurence Harvey (1968)
ONR 05: Bobby Short (1972)
ONR138: Irene Kral + Loonis McGlohon Trio (1977)
ONR139: Elizabeth Welch acc. Murray Grand (1986)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)
ONR 09a: Michael Law (2002)
ONR 05a: Steve Ross (2004)

YOU'RE A LONG, LONG WAY FROM AMERICA
Also known as HAIL PIONEERS

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(1961)
Sail Away, 1961 (Elaine Stritch)
Unpubl. MSS. There is a sort of publishers' draft print of the refrains only in the Warner/Chappell archive, copies of which are what is usually supplied to enquirers; but there’s also a full MS copy in the archives of the “verse” or introductory section, which is the “Hail Pioneers” bit, which is conversational/declamatory/recitative interspesed with little chorus paeans.
This is a sort of comedic point number. Two refrains flow along in a fast 2/2, and is not NC’s most memorable melodising, though it is perfectly well constructed. There’s a more excitable middle section (“Get out the greenbacks”) before a third refrain. All in all, it is another song on the theme of “Why Do The Wrong People Travel”, and rather less comic, partly on account of being that much more specifically anti-American (or anti-dollar) – and with not nearly such a strong tune!
OCR 18: Elaine Stritch (Oct 1961)
NCR 45: + orch./acc. Peter Matz (Dec 1961)
OCR 19: Elaine Stritch (1962)

YOU'RE THE TOP (Music by Cole Porter)
See Appendix 1.a

YOU'VE GOT A LITTLE PIECE OF LOVE IN YOUR HEART
See Appendix 1.c

YOUNGER GENERATION, THE

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(1932)
Words and Music, 1932 (Phyllis Harding, Betty Hare, Moya Nugent)
Sep.Publ.
VS WAM
VS CC (in medley)
The archives also preserved other MSS sheets of this title prepared by Elsie April, which show a duet for female voices in a sort of canon. However, there's no obvious match between these MSS and the extra lyrics of the production number [see BD], and none of this material figures in the verse-and-refrain published sheet-music version. The leading half of the very long introductory “conversational” verse was also abandoned by the sheet-music version, but is in the VS in full.
This is a sort of duet between a mother and her daughters. The refrain is a strict-rhythm, blues-y little jazz-dance, with energy and poise. The best interpretations ignore the lazy style implied in the sheet-music’s runs of straight quavers, and dot everything up like mad. The song is not a threat from the Younger Generation, but a realisation of ageing on the part of an older generation. Written when NC was 32.
ONR 140 is a fairly recent rediscovery, and is the only known example of Stephane Grapelli playing Coward. Like most of the Quintet’s up-tempo work, it’s very delightful.
ONR 08: Al Bowlly + Ray Noble orch. (1932)
ONR140: Quintet of the Hot Club of France (1939)
ONR 05: Bobby Short (1972)
ONR 12: Harry Groener + combo. acc. Tom Fay (1999)

ZIGEUNER

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(1928)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (Peggy Wood)
Sep.publ.
AES
NCSB
NCG1
NCR
A pastiche mittel-Europ zigeunerlied, but such a good pastiche that it competes admirably with the best that Lehar ever produced. It was convincingly mock-Viennese operetta songs such as this which ensured the success of Bitter Sweet. There is also a French version of this song, with lyrics not by NC, published in the wake of the French production of Bitter Sweet, ‘Au Temps des Valses’, entitled ‘Tzigane’ (see Appendix 2b, item 8f).
Norman Hackforth cut his Coward musical teeth with this number: he was the pianist for the touring production of BS.
The verse section is little more than a series of breathless little scalic passages set above a gypsy waltz, very Flamenco in feeling, which threatens to run away with itself every time it is allowed a few bars on its own without song. It also ends with the most crashingly-obvious dominant 5#7 chord in the entire Coward catalogue.
Thoughts of swirling skirts and castanets round the campfire are built into this music. The refrain continues to tease with phrases of varied pacing set to modally-juxtaposed harmonies (Bb7 and A7 out of D major!), and also features a
“classic” Cowardesque semitonally-dropping passage (on “play to me for just an hour”, cf. “buildings seem to grow so high” from ‘World Weary’).
Peggy Wood's performance (OCR 05) demonstrates the extraordinarily flexible variation of tempi necessary to do full justice to the pastiche. Bronhill manages the varied pacing of the refrain well in ONR 04, with a delicious melting sexiness; but the orchestrations are indulgent and intrusive. Masterson sings beautifully on ONR 01, but I find the whole mood and pacing of that interpretation pedestrian, and she also has to fight intrusive over-orchestration. ONR 141 is a fascinating demonstration of how “moody” the music is on its own, without the Flamenco feel: think Glen Miller-type band here, and set the whole thing to a rock-steady beat, with syncopated melody. Perhaps this sounds awful, but it is actually surprisingly effective, and means that the music itself has its own strengths without lyrics.
This song ranks about thirteenth in the list of top Coward royalty earners today (see Appendix 3).
OCR 05: Peggy Wood (Jun 1929)
ONR 08: (in selection) Jack Hylton orchestra (Jul 1929)
NCR 04: pno.acc. Carroll Gibbons (Sept 1929)
NCR 11: (in medley) + Reisman orch. (1933)
ONR141: Artie Shaw Orch. (1939)
OCR 05: Evelyn Laye (1939)
ONR 24: Harry Acres Orchestra (1947)
ONR 29: Georges Tzipine Orch. (1954?)
NCR 40: (in medley) +orch./acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 14: Joan Sutherland + orch. (1966)
ONR 04: June Bronhill + Johnny Douglas orch. (1969)
ONR 01: Valerie Masterson + Sadler's Wells orch. (1988)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)

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