Skip to content
Tags

“Alligator Lizards in the Air”

April 19, 2015

It’s Springtime! This past week has been beautiful in Columbus (FINALLY!) and I thought I would celebrate with an entry about all the great songs about Spring. Though not specifically a Spring song, I often think of “Ventura Highway” as a song about Spring or at least the happy feeling we get as Spring finally arrives. (“Cause there’s a free wind blowing thru your hair and the days surround your daylight there….alligator lizards in the air”). However, as I gave it some more thought, then scanned my list of about 9000 popular songs on my iTunes account (mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s of course), I realized that there was a dearth of material about the Spring. In fact, there were virtually no popular songs specifically about Spring at all!

Late March of 2014, I posted about the snowfall in Columbus in a post called “April Come She Will”: a very good Spring song by Simon and Garfunkel from their second album “Sounds of Silence”. Of course, the Beatles/George Harrison have probably the best spring song ever with “Here Comes the Sun” which, though it never mentions Spring or a Spring month, is clearly about Springtime with the sun emerging after one of England’s long cloudy winters. “Little darling, it seems like years since its been here…..”. Some also include the Rolling Stones “Dandelion” on their lists of Spring songs. I guess the theory is a song about a flower is also about Spring because it is when most flowers bloom. That seems a bit of stretch to me (though at least dandelions specifically bloom on lawns in the Spring). But excluding flower songs,  what other popular Spring songs have there been?

  • The BeeGees recorded a song in 1969 called in “First of May”. It was not particularly good song. In fact, the decision to make it the a-side of the single when it was released resulted in Robin Gibb departing the group and not returning until late 1970.
  • Pat Boone released a song called “April Love” in 1957. With apologies to all those Pat Boone lovers out there, but thankfully I don’t own it.
  • “April in Paris” was recorded by Count Basie in 1956 but was originally written in 1932. I am sure it is a fine song, but as much as I like oldies, I refuse to include anything that was popular BEFORE WWII on my list.
  • “When the Lilac’s Bloom Again” by Billy Vaughn and his orchestra was recorded in 1956 but written in 1928. DITTO

Clearly, there is a paucity of Spring songs ( particularly when you exclude songs that don’t mention Spring or a Spring month in the song). It is also strange that other seasons such as Winter and Summer have many songs about them. But these seasons are not nearly as pleasant as Spring. So why such a paltry list of popular songs?

I believe it’s because the uniqueness of Summer and Winter makes them great fodder for songwriters. Summer is the season of vacations: of going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, or just “lazing on a sunny afternoon in the summertime”. Winter is the season of grayness, darkness, cold, snow…”all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray”. It is also about Christmas and New Year’s , a perfect time for songwriters to write about such manic-depressive topics like Holiday Cheer and Post-Holiday Blues.

Spring is nice too, but it’s not too hot or too cold, not too light or too dark. In fact with the exception of Spring flowers and Spring tornado season in the middle of the country, it is totally ordinary in every way.

Despite all of this, Spring does have several excellent show tunes such as “June is Busting Out All Over” from Oklahoma or “The Lusty Month of May” from Camelot.  However, my favorite is the theme song from the faux-musical in the Mel Brooks classic movie “The Producers” . That theme song was none other than “Springtime for Hitler and Germany” which was a lyrical, musical and choreographic (if you have seen the movie you would agree!) masterpiece:

“And now it’s…
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We’re marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Rhineland’s a fine land once more!
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Watch out, Europe
We’re going on tour!”

“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi party!” (Mel Brooks line)

********************************************

Now that song was VERY unique , just like America singing about “alligator lizards in the air”.

From → Music 60s70s

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: