19 July 2014

Post 127: 'I LOVE PARIS'


That wonderful haunting tune I Love Paris was composed by the great Cole Porter about 66 years ago.

O.K. I know I Love Paris is not a tune normally played by traditional jazz bands. But it well deserves attention and study - and maybe attempting.

On the face of it, the tune is a simple 32-bar song - typical of the times. But what makes it so special?

Cole Porter has divided it into two sixteen-bar sections. The first is in the minor key, starting:
All four of these bars are on the chord of C minor. By the end of the sixteen bars, he will have created an image of a pensive individual whose love for Paris is deep.

Then what happens? Something startling!

The second sixteen begin by leaping up an octave and offering the same phrase as above, but without the flattened minor notes. Now we are in the key and on the chord of C major. Suddenly the sun is out and we feel like jumping up and dancing!

The phrasing of the second sixteen copies that of the first, but not closely. It is entirely major in feeling and we find out why: the song ends by saying that his love 'is near'.


I doubt whether I Love Paris is unique in having the 16-minor + 16-major pattern. Perhaps you can draw my attention to some more tunes of this kind? But it is certainly a trick Cole Porter uses brilliantly.