On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Nat King Cole – When I Fall in Love (1957)
It’s a third appearance on this list for Nat King Cole. Previously he was part of the Nat King Cole Trio but by the 1950s he was a solo act. Written by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, today’s song is When I Fall in Love which first appeared in 1952 and was used in the film, One Minute to Zero. Doris Day would soon cover the song but for our 1001 songs it is Nat King Cole’s version that came in 1957 which is considered the best.
When I Fall in Love is a love song where Cole sings to us of his desire to meet the ultimate person, the one, the one that he will share the rest of his life with. He insists that falling in love, for him, will be something that lasts a lifetime. If this isn’t possible then Cole is adamant that he’d rather not fall in love at all. He suggests that life is fragile and things can easily turn sour in this world of ours but he has faith in love and in finding his soul mate.
When I Fall in Love is slightly different to the work that Cole did with the Nat King Cole Trio but there is nothing lost in that great voice. Surprisingly, Cole didn’t have a lot of faith in his singing ability but it’s hard to deny his talent here. Sadly, his career would last less than a decade after this song. His years of heavy smoking had finally taken their toll and lung cancer brought an end to his music in 1965. Cole was only 45.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)