Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler

A List Of 5 Songs About ... Lists

Partner content from Jazz24

Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson. i i

Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson. Verve Records hide caption

itoggle caption Verve Records
Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson.

Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson.

Verve Records

Over the past few years, Take Five's theme-based jazz lists have covered a wide variety of subjects. We've covered the careers of legends, the cutting-edge work of up-and-coming artists, styles, periods, holidays, regional scenes and more. Today, Take Five goes "meta" and presents a list of songs about... lists.

The lyrical conceits of these five songs are simply to list things. And, of course, feel free to suggest your favorite songs about lists that weren't included here. ("What, no 'Route 66'? Really?")

A List Of 5 Songs About... Lists

cover art to Acoustic Swing and Jug

Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me

  • Artist: Jim Kweskin
  • Album: Acoustic Swing and Jug

Here's an upbeat and tongue-twisting list of things that can give you the blues. It was written in 1919 and recorded, mostly as an instrumental, by early jazz artists like Sidney Bechet, Wilber de Paris and Cab Calloway. It was almost rescued from semi-obscurity in the 1960s by The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, which provides us with this spirited version.

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Song
Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me
Album
Acoustic Swing and Jug
Artist
Jim Kweskin
Label
Ace
Released
1998

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cover to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)

  • Artist: Louis Armstrong/Oscar Peterson
  • Album: Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Cole Porter apparently took great joy in composing "list" songs. "Let's Do It," written in 1928, is the first in a list of songs about lists from this great songwriter; songs including "You're the Top" and "Come to the Supermarket (In Old Peking)." Here, Louis Armstrong and the Oscar Peterson Trio take a pleasant stroll through Porter's list of all the people, birds, aquatic creatures, insects and animals that "do it" — by which, Porter insisted, he meant "fall in love." (Riiiight.)

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Song
Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
Album
Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson
Artist
Louis Armstrong/Oscar Peterson
Label
Verve
Released
1957

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The Voice That Is! cover

These Foolish Things

  • Artist: Johnny Hartman
  • Album: The Voice That Is!

This evocative list of lost love comes from British songwriters Jack Strachey (music) and Eric Maschwitz (lyrics). And what a lyric! "The winds of March that make my heart a dancer / A telephone that rings, but who's to answer? / Oh, how the ghost of you clings / These foolish things remind me of you." Johnny Hartman's version gets the most out of every syllable.

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Song
These Foolish Things
Album
The Voice That Is!
Artist
Johnny Hartman
Label
Impulse!
Released
1965

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Cyrus Chestnut cover art

My Favorite Things

  • Artist: Cyrus Chestnut
  • Album: Cyrus Chestnut

This is certainly one of the best-known "list" songs, but we almost didn't include it. Over time, the version with words has become associated with Christmas, even though it isn't a Christmas list. In the end, though, it had to be here. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut, performing with vocalist Anita Baker, does a fine version of it. We hope you enjoy list-ening. (Sorry.)

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Song
My Favorite Things
Album
Cyrus Chestnut
Artist
Cyrus Chestnut
Label
Atlantic

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Most Requested Songs cover art

Waters Of March

  • Artist: Susannah McCorkle
  • Album: Most Requested Songs

"The Waters of March (Águas de Março)" by Antonio Carlos Jobim: the ultimate "list" song. The correct (though needlessly narrow) view would be to say that the song is about the images that came to Jobim as he wrote about Brazil's rainiest month. But, really, "Waters of March" celebrates much more than that. In a recent listener poll by Jazz24, Susannah McCorkle's beautiful rendition of the song was voted one of 50 Great Jazz Vocal Recordings.

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Song
Waters of March
Album
Most Requested Songs
Artist
Susannah McCorkle
Label
Concord Jazz
Released
2001

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