Here are more of those wonderful songs, so familiar they seem part of us. Through the years we dance and romance to them, come together, or dream of an old love. Did their creators ever think they would last forever, or that they could be done in so many ways?
Combining lecture with a wide variety of clips, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs from the Great American Songbook came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, but still the same.
Please Note: Individual sessions are available for purchase.
October 4 Two by Cole Porter: “Night and Day” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
Playful, naughty, and sizzling, Cole Porter’s songs were meant to seduce and delight us. Sophisticated lyrics suggested high and low delights, while his music mixed the sounds of Broadway and the movies with the hint of exotic climes.
October 18 You Must Remember This: “As Time Goes By” and “These Foolish Things”
Just their first few notes, and all those memories rush in. A face, a film, that one moment we don’t want to forget. Both songs hold such special places yet didn’t catch on at first. Only later when they came back in another form did they capture us, and stay forever.
November 1 Like Swinging in the Breeze: “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Mack the Knife”
You can’t help but snap your fingers or get up and dance. We may not be sure what these songs actually mean, but we know we love to swing and sway to them. And sing along—now that Mackie’s back in town.
Lukinson, who has won three Emmys and seven Writer’s Guild Awards, now teaches at NYU and the 92nd Street Y. Her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
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