Friday, December 29, 2006

Tony left it...

and so did I.

Last night, whilst driving along the winding road towards home - I was listening to a mixed cd of fave songs when The Tony Bennett Signature Song came on the player.

True to form when'ere I hear 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco', I experienced a sustained moment of being in the 'Wow Zone' - which is not unlike the 'Seinfeld style Desperado Zone'. This is not altogether a great idea when driving a meandering road into the forestlands lit by a scant moon, so thanks for your concern, but I did just fine.

Like the song, my mood was definitely dreamy.
Perhaps it was the dark and quiet of the drive.
Reviewing random thoughts of the day's events while navigating the familiar turns of the mountain roadway.
That end-of-day peacefulness as one moves homeward for food, comfort and relaxation.
This, the perfect scenario for focused listening. For me, it was like hearing 'I Left My Heart...' for the very first time. Things sometimes get so familiar that you start taking them for granted. People. Places. Even a song. Given a change of setting or viewed from another perspective, that something can suddently breathe with new life.
When one is in the moment and truly attentive, clarity can reign.
Everything old is new again when captured in a moment of renewed appreciation.

As a native San Franciscan, the melody and words of 'I Left My Heart...' seem woven into my very essence. The song begins with the simplest accompaniment: a piano. I embrace the 7 sweet little notes that are repeated throughout the piece. They are played with a delicate touch that illustrates well what it means to 'tickle the ivories'.

I hang on every syllable of Tony's sensitive phrasing and take note of the effortlessness of his delivery. No one else can sing the word 'fog' the way Tony does in this song. Soooooooo S-M-O-O-T-H.

He moves through the song with the ease of a leisurely stroll. Anyone who has been to The City can imagine the picture painted by those lyrics: to be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars (and where ) the morning fog chills the air (I don't care).

It's [sigh] Absolute Perfection.

Thank you thank you to the romantic duo of New Yorkers George Cory and Douglas Cross for penning this song.
It has become Mr. Bennett's exclusively, yet others have dared to try it on for size:
Sinatra?!? No Thanks - NY NY is your song, babe.
Gavin Newsom?!?! Ai Ya! Please don't!

As for Tony leaving his and me leaving mine...
Well, if you must know, a little bit of my heart is left here and there and everywhere with places I've lived and loved, visited and loved, and with people I've known and loved.
The thing is - the heart isn't diminished but strengthened by and made all the more whole...

[sigh again]

The artsy heart pictured on the pedestal was painted by Tony B. and is located in Union Square (Robert Shields?!? I worked a block from Union Square in the early 70's and would see him performing at The Square; and made sure to walk on the other side of the street so he couldn't target me to mimic and mime after...) and is part of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation's Heroes and Hearts Program.

Looking towards a new year filled with good times ~
I've just added to B's Things To-Do/ Places to See/ People to Meet LIST:
Field trip to (the new improved) Union Square.
Bring iPod with aforementioned Tony Song.
Sit by Tony's painted heart and have a listen to the song.
Go into serious I Left My Heart Zone.

Then head somewhere nearby for a simple but delicious San Francisco-style lunch.
(Any suggestions?)
Feed the heart and soul and then the tum-tum.


chumly said...

Thanks I needed to hear what you wrote.

me again said...

For a little San Francisco nostalgia go here:

And we live right here!