Sometimes too hot the eye of Heaven shines…

Helen Borgers | Music, Theater
10 Sep 2012

Man, you’re telling me! This is one of those times!

It’s been hotter and more humid than I can remember it being here in southern California. So, it’s got me thinking of songs about heat and quotations about heat.  Somehow makes it easier to take the weather if I feel as though I’m doing something about it! Thought these might be of interest…

From William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, when the heat sets the scene for tragedy:

Benvolio:  I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

And a similar sentiment was expressed in Lawrence Kasdan’s wonderful screenplay for BODY HEAT (directed by Kasdan, too, and starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Ted Danson, J.A. Preston):

Ned: How’s the cop business, Oscar?

Oscar: Real good. Always starts hopping in weather like this. When it gets this hot, people try to kill each other.  It’s that crisis atmosphere. People dress different, feel different, sweat more. They wake up cranky and they never recover. ..pretty soon people think the old rules aren’t in effect. They start breaking them. Figure no one’ll care, ’cause it’s emergency time…time out.

And here, Billie Holiday sings it like it is!

And my personal favorite of the many versions of this song…Ethel Waters.

But, this one is fun, too:  Marilyn Monroe

And yet another… by Cal Tjader and Carmen McRae

And no wonder Ann Miller is Too Darn Hot!  Great dancing!  From the film of Kiss Me Kate.

But this is the version I grew up with:  Original Broadway Cast of Kiss Me Kate

The swinging-est version, though — with Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin — dig the swinging guitar of Jim Hall!  But the rest of the band is equally hip:  Paul Smith on piano, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass, and Gus Johnson, drums.  Recorded live at Deutschlandhallen, West Berlin, West Germany on February 13, 1960

Here’s a rare one:  June Christy at the Playboy Penthouse Party 1959

And songs about heat that don’t have much to do with the weather …

Kenton “Cool” — love Johnny Richards’ arrangements for Kenton’s whole album of West Side Story!

Martha & the Vandellas — Heatwave

Summer in the City —   Lovin’ Spoonful

and, finally, one more tribute to the fading season, with it’s legacy of infernal weather:

Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald from Porgy and Bess

Be Cool!

One Comment

  1. Skip says:

    Unbelievably humid!!!!

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