Skip to comments.Clair deLune, Moonlight Serenade, Tonight Tonight, others?
Posted on 03/15/2014 8:10:20 PM PDT by lee martell
I'm a night person, and I like music inspired by the night. The biggest void that we know of is the darkness of the night. The darkness surrounds our part of the earth, like a soft heavy comforter filled with down. The night is without shape, and cannot be measured. This unknowable nature of the dark night allows us to easily imagine what is or what should be there. We imagine what is desired or what is dreaded. The night has long served as a catalyst or a muse for creativity. Look to the french composer Claude Debussy, who wrote his signature piece; Clair de Lune in 1890, publishing the final version in 1905. The piano is spare and elegant. The measures allude to the slow drift of cumulus clouds floating at night, translucent with moonlight. This is the third movement from Debussy's Suite Bergamasque, which was based on poems of Paul Verlaine.
Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller was released in 1939 on Bluebird Records. The recording used a clarinet led saxophone section, which is widely considered classic Glenn Miller style. The song evolved from a 1935 version of another Miller song; "Now I Lay Me Down To Weep". Jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote about the song's impact and legacy. "Miller exudes little warmth on or off the bandstand, but once the band struck up this theme, audiences were done for; throats clutched, eyes softened. No other record of it's time could match 'Moonlight Serenade' for it's ability to induce a Pavlovian slobber in so many for so long".
A lot of songs by Phil Collins were technically very good, but somewhat formulaic. There is one exception, although this was recorded when he was still with Genesis. The song Tonight Tonight Tonight was released in 1986 on the album Invisible Touch. The music video has an atmosphere reminiscent of the film Blade Runner, which was a source of inspiration for the video. Supposedly, Collins wrote this song after divorcing his first wife Andrea in 1979. He was upset enough to have left Genesis for a couple of months. There is something about this song that is both invigorating, because of the incessant percussion which varies in force and in tempo, and there is also a soothing effect that is imposed on the listener because of the cello like chords that become a dirge, that dirge is your only path away from the chaos. This is not a night song, but listen to the first three minutes of Shaft, by Issac Hayes, those are the kind of 'cello like chords' I'm speaking of, where you are prodded onto your journey, like it or not. **Nights in White Satin is a beautiful, lyrical piece of work, by the Moody Blues. Night Moves, by Seeger worth a mention. **Are You Lonesome Tonight?, by Elvis captures an intimate moment, listen you his voice, which seems to resonate or softly echo. That feels like a though within the head. What other night music is there?
IN THE AIR TONIGHT (miami vice)
YOU BELONG TO THE CITY (miami vice)
Strangers In The Night? Exchanging Glances....
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
Claire deLune, one of the most beautiful piano pieces. As soon as my daughter was capable, I taught her and had her memorize it.... I love it when she plays it, makes me very mellow.. Of course, the Grand Marnier helps some.
“Under A Violet Moon” by Blackmore’s Night.
(Actually, they have several night-themed songs.)
“Whispers In The Dark” by Skillet.
This is an interesting topic, thank you, though I’m not sure if every pop song with “night” in the title was as you say “inspired by night”. “Let’s spend the night together”? You must remember the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, which somehow or another acquired English lyrics under a strange title “Tonight We Love”. (Recordings all over Youtube.)
I’ll think of something else, more appropriate later.
“Starry, Starry, Night” by Don McLean about Vince Van Gogh:
I think “Vincent” is the proper title.
you can pretty much put anything by ella and louis into any list and have a winner...
For the “advanced training” night classes, how about, Johnny Cash’s cover of “I’m so lonesome I could cry”....
“Earth Shine” by RUSH
“Black Moon” by ELP
“Watching Over You” by ELP
Funny - “Black Moon” was the song my baby son used to love to fall asleep to!
I’m still waiting for a movie about those two performers Ferrante & Teicher. Performing became their whole lives, which often happens if you love your work anyway. I never heard anything negative or questionable about them.
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2, third movement. The main theme inspired the popular tune “Full Moon, Empty Arms.”
It’s true, nighttime provides a wonderful setting for many things, such as horror movies (what self-respecting monster attacks in the daytime?) and dates. As regards the latter, it is hard to visualize a romantic setting in bright sunshine—yes, I know it’s possible for some people but darkness provides a certain something hard to beat for most, I would submit.
Music which invokes a setting of nighttime has always held a special appeal to me, your humble OldPossum. Hell, when do you think possums come out, certainly not in that sterile daylight!
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
Very nice post, and there should be more like it on FR, if for no other reason than to break the relentless onslaught of The Political.
There’s a great moody song Nina Simone recorded, probably in the 50s titled “Middle of the Night”,probably from the movie of the same name, with Fredric March. Glad you mentioned the Elvis ballad, because that was his finest and most sensitive vocal.Nice soft rock song from the 70s with the lyrics “there’s a warm wind blowin’ the stars around/and I really want to see you tonight.There are no shortage of average songs with “night “ in them, like The Night has a Thousand Eyes and You and the night and the Music.Maybe I’m partial, but the song “Summer Nights” from the musical Grease, is pretty good in an adolescent-yearning kind of way. I was in the original cast in Chicago, but that song was written for the movie. For now, though, the Simone song should suffice.
Oh, yes, we can always go much, much deeper. As a former disc jockey, I have a great love of popular music that goes back to the early 20th century.
Tonight - Bernstein/Sondheim - West Side Story
Xylophones!! Nobody leads with xylophones anymore. Perfect nightime driving music with the front windows down.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Gerry Goffin/Carole King
Ferrante and Teicher are one of our favorite duos, too.
If you like Ferrante and Teicher, you my know that Michel Legrand rocks, as well. I know this one is not in keeping with the theme of this thread, but this is my favorite Michel Legrand composition, the theme from the Summer of '42
The Nina Simone song I mentioned , Middle of the Night, is on youtube -—it’s the Google result with her image on it. Could someone post the link.I forgot how to do it.Thanks.
Never heard a Phil Collins song in my life, so when I read your title I assumed that you meant this one “Tonight, Tonight,” by the Mellow Kings:
“my also know” = “may also know”
Claire de Lune in ‘7 years in Tibet’ from a book depicting a real life experience.
Some fly by night....
LOVE me some “Moonlighting”! :-)
Very nice. Makes me think of an infinite neighborhood of bright, sparking constellations. Mozart like with the trilling, or the light touches of a Harpsicord player.
Excellent description, Lee! I thought it would make a really fine night song, too. :-)
You did say “music,” not just “songs.”
My suggestion would be the Nocturnes of Fryderyk Chopin (which in turn were partly inspired by the Nocturnes of John Field, but Chopin’s are still my favorites).
Each nocturne was supposed to be evocative of some aspect of the night.
“Moon Over Miami”
Oh,yes, the "vibes" are the best! It doesn't get much more perfect than that for night driving. :-)
Good distinction; music, not just songs or ditties. I’ll have to check out some Chopin. I have not listened to him for a while. Gustave Holst did some interesting work around that era with his most well known work, The Planets. Each planet had it’s own suite written by Holst to match it’s essence in the known universe.
NIGHT by Jackie Wilson.
There are some songs that to me suggest certain kinds of nights, even if they are not specifically “night” songs. For instance, I associate “Dreams” by the Allman Brothers with steamy summer evenings after a thunderstorm. Several songs from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” say winter night better than anything. Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude says night right now since it is raining. Gregorian chant or works by the likes of Tallis work much better at night, as well as Rachmaninov’s Vespers.
"Super star, but he didn't get far"