Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First of the Second.

Welcome, welcome, dear S&Pers, to the first post of a new month!

As we all learned last year, February is Runtmonth. My niece had been lamenting the seeming endlessness of January, and I suggested that perhaps February's great brevity somehow made up for it. She then mentioned that February was the runt of months -- hence, Runtmonth.

From such inauspicious beginnings come great traditions.

Today, of course, is Runtmonth the First, or simply Runtmonth's Day (or, as I was tempted to refer to it last year, the medieval vulgarity 'Runtmas').

In honor of the new, runty, monthy Runtmonth, we have yet again changed up the songlist for our player on the right. Some things are staying over from January, but there are five Februarial tunes to enjoy for now.

Now, we all know that Runtmonth's most famed association is the holiday (not ironically) at its heart: Valentine's Day.

Here at the S&P, we're not that big into Valentine's Day per se -- we've believed for a long time that one should express their love to the object(s) of that love more than on February 14th and on their birthdays -- but there's no denying that, for whatever reason (Hallmarkian or otherwise), February is the Month of Love in pop culture.

We certainly don't discourage  romance here.

We just light it with a little more orange and black than other pubs might.

First up on the ol' jukebox after our ever-present Great Pumpkin Waltz is another Vince Guaraldi waltz that has become Runtmonth tradition here: the Heartburn Waltz, from the 1975 special Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. It's light and jazzy and quirky like so much about childhood crushes can be... and two Guaraldi waltzes never hurt anybody.

Then, I felt like another waltz, because the waltz is the dance of love. Maybe.

I can't find real recording dates or tech notes for this next track, except to say it's from "John Leach and George Fenton" according to the Inter Webs. Nobody seems to have more information than that.

But if Paris is considered the city of romance, then its music must be considered the music of romance. Just think of a cafe, your true love, a sunny afternoon, and listen to Valse Moderne (Modern Waltz). It's short and sweet and oh so playfully romantic.

Then I thought, I've given them two waltzes, surely they couldn't take a third. So that's what I'll give them!

This one's a little slower but no less heartfelt and romantic.

A Penny For Your Thoughts is a sweet three-quarter ballad from the 1996 stage musical Red, White & Blaine. It is the song of Ima and her lover, Armani, as they spend the eve of his shipping off to the trenches of WWI-ravaged Europe doubting, dancing and ultimately declaring their undying love in spite of the question mark of his return from battle. 

It has also been suggested that the recording is actually of Christopher Guest and Parker Posey from Guest's 1996 mockumentary classic Waiting For Guffman, but that's totally not true.

And then I got tired of waltzes, but still felt like hearing the odd stage musical love song. Where was it? Where is love...?

Where Is Love? is the gorgeously sad interlude from the 1960 classic musical Oliver!, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. In this 1967 version, it is Leonard Nimoy who asks if love is underneath the willow tree he's been dreaming of. In outer space. 'Cause he's Spock.

And finally we feature another song from 1967 that used to be heard on this jukebox quite often, but is now returning to the S&P after a notable absence -- Francesca's ode to Felix on the shores of the Isle of Evil, There Never Was A Love Like Mine. 

Like the earlier A Penny For Your Thoughts, this song is often attributed to a satirical film, in this case 1967's Mad Monster Party, and sung by Gale Garnett (as Francesca) to Felix Flanken (voiced by Allen Swift but not heard in this song). 

Again, this is totally untrue.

I've left last month's Northern Sky, because it's good and it's a love song and it's my pub.

I did the same with the theme from Escape From Monster Manor because Runtmonth is still the off-season for me and I am still spending some time each week shooting ghosts. And it's my pub.

I sure wish everyone a fantastic Runtmonth's Day/Runtmas today, and a fine, loving Runtmonth.

Here's to romance, spooky or otherwise. 

And what is that crackling noise... ?



  1. Happy Runtmonth!
    But its not so runty--it is leap year so February is even closer to 30 days long. Close, but no seegar.

    Pretty sure the Christopher Guest rumor is just that. But "Penny for Your Thoughts" sure sounds like Corky StClair is singing.
    And Leonard Nimoy singing "Where is Love?" Wasn't that song from the musical,"Spock!"?