Lyrical Tuesday from Jane Hall: Kismet

Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time of its inception, Baghdad evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center for the Islamic world. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions (e.g. House of Wisdom), garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the “Center of Learning”.

In contemporary times, Baghdad has often faced severe infrastructural damage, most recently due to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent Iraq War that lasted until December 2011. In recent years, the city has been frequently subjected to insurgency attacks. As of 2012, Baghdad was listed as one of the least hospitable places in the world to live,[5] and was ranked by Mercer as the worst of 221 major cities as measured by quality-of-life.

Kismet, the Broadway musical, takes place in a past Baghdad – where palace intrigue and romance thrived. Music in Kismet was based on Alexander Borodin’s melodic body of work. I have selected three of many songs that are now considered ‘standards.’

Click Here to View: Judy Garland & Vic Damone – Kismet medley (The Judy Garland Show) n YouTube.

Play on the cymbal, the timbal, the lyre;
Play with appropriate passion.
Fashion songs of delight and delicious desire
For the night of my nights.
Come where the so well beloved is waiting,
Where the rose and the jasmine mingle
While I tell her the moon is for Xmating
And ’tis sin to be single!
Let peacocks and monkeys in purple adornings
Show her the way to my bridal chamber,
Then get you gone ’til the morn of my mornings
After the night of my nights!
‘Tis the night of my nights!
‘Tis the night of my nights!

See him smiling,
Hear him humming,
He’s in love!
Joyful, jaunty,
Dreaming dazzled
He’s in love!
Stars have invaded his eyes.
Silver bells in his voice
Sing a hymn to the her he dreams of!
Watch him wooing,
Purring, cooing,
He’s a dove!
Sighing, doting,
Flying, floating,
High a bove!
Though you’re suspecting
It’s April affecting him so,
Can’t be, can’t be,
Not him, not he,
He’s in love,
and it’s really love,
Because I’m in love and I know!

Dawn’s promising skies
Petals on a pool drifting
Imagine these in one pair of eyes
And this is my beloved
Strange spice from the south
Honey through the comb sifting
Imagine these on one eager mouth
And this is my beloved.
And when she speaks
And when she talks to me
Music! Mystery!

And when she moves
And when she walks with me
Paradise comes suddenly near
All that can stir, all that can stun
All that’s for the heart’s lifting
Imagine these in one perfect one
And this is my beloved
And this is my beloved

Jane Hall

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