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Reflection On The Song Cry Me A River By Ella Fitzgerald

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I was blown by the song “Cry me a river” by Ella Fitzgerald. The delivery of her voice feels mesmerizing and soothing; she completely interprets the lyrics. It was first written in 1953 for a piece of a song track for the film Pete Kelly’s Blue that was supposed to be sung by the one and only Ella. However, it ended up in Julie London’s hands. In 1956 her edition was made part of a soundtrack for a film called The Girl Can’t Help It. Besides, six years later, Fitzgerald released the same record on June 23, 1961. Following that, a handful of other talented artists would record their version of the tune. There are two published music sheets dates. One is in 1953 and the other is in 1955. Arthur Hamilton was the person who wrote the lyrics. The official copies are registered in the US and Canada.

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Hamilton himself stated that as he worked as a prescription delivery boy, he would write every word to his songs, on the back of the prescription blanks. This song has 32 bar chorus but does not have a verse that could become a chorus. Each word was created or arranged in AABA making sections A rhyme with abcb and B sections rhyme with abab. Also, in sections A, the title is repeated multiple times because it calls for great importance. Hamilton, like any other old songwriter, added a complex rhythm to perhaps impress others; by using the word plebian. Everything is broken down in a matter of sequence. Another thing, the official music sheet, is in the key C minor, which makes the primary note D. Creating Ella to be the perfect fit for note D because it is at the peak of her range; compared to Julie, which sang on the minor sixth down in E minor.

As I heard the song, I sensed a heartbroken woman, that is going through a difficult time with her partner. Her singing has a way of telling the actual story. Ella’s voice sets a mood of suffering and plain sadness. She sings like if she’s pouring out her heart. When portraying a song, I have a hard time listening to artists that are irrelevant to what they’re singing. Unlike Ella Fitzgerald, every time I play the torch song, her tone of voice, tells it like it is. I believe the songwriter was inspired to create this song due to a breakup, he had gone through or narrate someone else’s shattered story. In my opinion, “Cry me a River” by Ella, is such an emotional song. Her sorrow and the lyrics are clear. I believe Hamilton’s lyrics are astonishing and Ella’s voice fills in the gap, with such preciseness. 

09 March 2021

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