If you have my 1985 straight-ahead-jazz album, ‘Round the Corner, you’ve heard the opening track, ‘Round the Corner, played as an instrumental jazz standard-style with harp, bass & drums.
That jazz rendition is this song’s ‘serious’ side. (see the “CD Baby widget” at the bottom to hear that version)
Like me, this song has an “over-the-top Diva” side, too. And that’s what my newest YouTube video post is all about. It’s a fully-symphonic version of the tale of canine cultural exchange and you can read the story of how it came about below.
Here’s how it all started:
My long-ago boyfriend Alan Krulick (aka “Al Shakespeare”, aka the Dean of Street Performers) had an old dog who spent its days outside the house on then-quiet Summer Street in Somerville, farting and being generally adorable.
This was in the old days, when dogs roamed free in Somerville. Before Somervillian canine Marshall Law took dogs off the streets and cooped them up in 2-family homes. Before the cats took over.
It was a kinder, smellier time.
Alan and I met as members of the Somerville Arts Council where we had violent arguments about which arts council project proposals to fund. So we were culturally-minded, passionate fringe artists.
For fun, Alan and wrote lyrics for his dog to sing. We’d invent entire routines the dogs in the neighborhood would do, imagine music videos — and we’d always use this particular song, ‘Round the Corner.
It was just about the time I started touring internationally – and as my career developed, the song developed.
By the time I recorded a cabaret-version of it in my 1998 album “Altered Ego” (Click on the picture of the kid with sunglasses in the widget below — oh, what the heck, go ahead and buy the album from the widget) – the song was about the cultural exchange programs the Dogs in Somerville had with their European brethren, it was sung in three languages and introduced cultural-elite canines in Paris to über-talented cabaret-singing dogs in Berlin. It’s about Parisian poodles who wake up to bone-shaped croissants, who take chocolate mice to the neighborhood cats. It’s about the dog-spirit of Marlene Deitrich, and dogs so talented they turn their toenail tapping into tap-dance routines.
It’s over-the-top – sure. Why not? And when I sing it in shows it’s a singalong.
But THIS video …
This video is about taking over-the-top to a whole new level — by scoring it all for symphony orchestra.
This is about fully-embracing your own Ridiculous to the point that it nearly becomes sublime.
So, waddaya think? Does this kind of Canine Cabaret belong on the stage with symphony orchestra? I hope you thoroughly enjoy this archival version of “Dogs of Somerville” (aka Round the Corner) with the Great Falls Symphony.
And hey – throw me a bone! Leave a comment on the video or here at my blog! I LOVE reading your comments!
To Hear – and buy other Versions of the Song
I tried to embed my CD Baby store below, but it didn’t work, so try clicking here to get to the store online. Then Check out:
ALBUM: Round the Corner SONG: Round the Corner – to hear the instrumental jazz version (you can also access it here)
ALBUM: Altered Ego SONG: Dogs of Somerville – to hear a books-on-tape-on-drugs beat-era audio-cabaret version. Listen to it by clicking the image below. Buy it here (yes, that completely illegible black blob is the ‘easy purchase’ button and the picture that doesn’t include the name of the song is supposed to indicate to you that you can hear the song by clicking on it somehow. And the BIG text that says “Download Now” doesn’t work at all. Yup! It’s one of those ‘easy-to-use’ fabulous DIY artist tools)
In a word…YES!!
This song is timeless, Deborah! (I have an Altered Ego CD that you autographed to my two dogs at the time, from long before I ever moved to Arlington.)
Maybe it’s my sound equipment but I understood almost none of the lyrics. I appreciated the background orchestra accompaniment, the bodily fluctuations etc. BUT- no words!
Sigh … oh well … I just posted an audio version of the song on the blog (it took me forEVur to figure out how to do it!), so hopefully you’ll be able to hear it that way.
Hey … glad you liked the bodily fluctuations! And the background orchestra! Guess I’ll have to come play with an orchestra near you and enunciate!! Thanks!
I love your dog song!!! I heard you perform it several decades ago in San Francisco and thought it was absolutely fabulously fun. I’m so glad it hasn’t been forgotten and that you’ve taken it to a whole new level.
“Whole new level” is SUCH an apt description, Lori! Thank you! I love BEING all those dogs! Ahhhh …. someday I can see Winterharp doing Winterdog ….yes, yes, I see it now …
Just to set the record straight: we wrote that song for the teen cabaret show we produced at Faneuil Hall back in the 80s. It was originally about the dogs of Boston. “We are the macho dogs of Boston, USA.
Wellllll …. actually …. we modified it for the “Marketplace Cabaret” — where it was part of a big ‘commercial’ for “Dogs! The Musical that runs ‘Cat’s out of the Park!” [I may be paraphrasing our exact description]. The bit included a series of song parodies you wrote, based on “Cats” … and I think other musicals … all about Dogs. I sweahhh this song was originally about YOUR farty old adorable dog who used to sleep in the middle of the freakin’ street as if he owned it, and who cars happily skirted around, and who EVERYONE loved.