Sunday, 8 November 2015

I only have eyes for you. . .

My love must be a kind of blind love
I can't see anyone but you. . . 

I have no particular reason for choosing this song other than I love how it sounds.  I smile when I hear the backup vocals with their lyrics, because I actually don't know what they're singing during the verses - but hey, it fills in the melody line.  It reminds me of badly lit jazz joints with the spotlight on the lead vocalist, while the piano keeps time with constant triplet figures, the sultry shuffle of the drums before the guitar licks that linger in the background.

Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright
I only have eyes for you, my dear

It can be quite disconcerting to have someone look at you for an extended period of time.  It's like you try to look away to break eye contact and find some other things to talk about to distract them from looking at you, but you can't control them only having eyes for you as much as you can control the weather.  So what do you do?  Nothing really.  I guess it depends on how you want to react or how you want to engage with that person in your interaction.  At one extreme, the lightness of the moment can seem easy and breezy, while at the opposite end, it can feel quite heavy and intense - so it's a matter of perception.  How light or heavy can you take it?  You couldn't tell if it was cloudy or bright, that's why!

The moon may be high
But I can't see a thing in the sky
I only have eyes for you

There have been many earlier renditions of this song by greats such as Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, but it's this cover version by The Flamingos that I enjoy listening to the most.  I think I've seen it featured in several movies over the years.  I first heard it in Trainspotting during my first years at college in 1996, but it has also featured in 2014 in the horror Annabelle.  I think I've heard the song in quite a few commercials over the years too.  There are just some songs that you hear that have that perennial, classic feel to it - this is definitely one of those songs for me.

I don't know if we're in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue

When you can't even tell if you're surrounded by nature or in a busy urban street - now that's really some kind of superpower to be able to block out everybody and everything else with such single-minded focus.  The seventh chords featured in the harmonies are only as eerie as the suspended notes that they carry as well, as if we're in some dream sequence before we return to the familiar melody in the subsequent verse.

You are here and so am I
Maybe millions of people go by
But they all disappear from view
And I only have eyes for you. . . 

I hope that you enjoy your moments of having eyes only for someone.  I hope you let your imagination run wild.  Personally, I just like the old school groove that is woven and threaded throughout the song, particularly when you combine the haunting background vocals with the electric guitar licks.  I can imagine myself playing the piano in some bar on some open mic night and having someone come and sing the lead vocal.  I just love the vocal treatment of this song.

I guess I only have ears for the song :-)