American Dreamer: Heart Songs



American Dreamer


heart songs




Jean Danton, soprano


Thomas Stumpf, piano






American Dreamer


heart songs




Dreams, American dreams in particular, are basic to our lives. Whether it is the desire to write the perfect love song to use as a serenade or the need to break away from the everyday, humdrum world and escape into the land of rhythm, these songs make those dreams immediate and very real.




Every song in this collection speaks to the heart, as well as to the mind, of the singer and the listener. American in content and context, American voices sing these songs best. Vocal music written by young American composers is coming into its own at the end of this century and more singers are including songs by American songwriters than ever before in their recitals and their recordings. Many new works are being commissioned, by singers, every year.




In this recording Jean Danton presents an overview of the heart of American songwriting for the last 150 years. Beautiful Dreamer, for example, has the same poignant soul as All the Things You Are. That particular Kern song is as complex, musically, as anything by Charles Ives. Gershwin's and Carpenter's musicianship is the equal of Copland's. Romberg and Ganz, for all their European background, made their American music as truly native in appeal as Bernstein or Joplin. Carl Davis' song seems to sum up the whole spectrum of song writing on its own terms.




There is much to love in this music; all songs, sad, sweet, melancholy or raucous, are about love and about dreams. Heart songs really are American Dreams.




Beautiful Dreamer, (1864-music and lyrics by Stephen Foster) First published two months after Foster's death in 1864 and advertised as "the last song ever written by Stephen Foster" it was actually composed two years earlier. His most popular love ballad, it ironically, poignantly, reflects on his own troubled marriage, marred with periods of estrangement from his wife, Jane McDowell. Lyrically it calls upon the beloved to waken, to listen, to respond.




Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway (1850-music and lyrics by Stephen Foster) This song explores the fleeting sense of joy and innocence that dominates our youth. The melody shows the generous melodic gifts Foster possessed and the harmonies are more daring than in Beautiful Dreamer. Foster was at his best here as a poet as well as a melodist. It is a very substantial piece filled with drama and a sense of urgency.




If You've Only Got a Moustache (1864-music by Stephen Foster, lyrics by George Cooper) An uncharacteristic song for Foster, it slyly satirizes the fashions and attitudes of the period in a manner that would gain popularity in the theatre songs of the 1870s. This genre of comedy song is also reflected in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.




When Your Hair Is Like The Snow (1907-music by Scott Joplin, lyrics by Owen Spendthrift) Joplin is not remembered for his songs, but rather for introducing to a popular market the ragtime piano tunes that had been a regular feature in the black "fancy-houses" of the south and the midwest. A composer who aspired to greatness, he wrote an opera, Treemonisha, which never received a fully staged performance during his lifetime, but which has since become an accepted part of the American music scene. This song is a gem. It is filled with the passion and sensitivity of the early 20th century, reflecting other songs of its type that became better known, such as I Wish I Had a Girl and Cuddle Up a Little Closer.




A Memory (1919-music by Rudolph Ganz, lyrics by Minnie K. Breid) A Swiss-born, naturalized American, Ganz lived most of his life in Chicago and wrote over 200 songs. He was married to two American singers, Mary Forrest and Esther LaBerge, both of whom influenced his work. In this song, written 19 years after his Symphony in E was introduced by the Berlin Philharmonic, he creates an intimate portrait of hope and despair.




The Sleep That Flits On Baby's Eyes (1914-music by John Alden Carpenter, lyrics by Rabindranath Tagore) An American composer whose work is relatively unknown today, Carpenter was a student of Edward Elgar and is best remembered for his orchestral suite, Adventures in a Perambulator(1915) and a ballet produced at the Metropolitan Opera in 1926, Skyscrapers. This song is from his most successful collection, Gitanjali, a song cycle.




The Dodger (Campaign Song) (1950-music by Aaron Copland, lyrics unknown) From Copland's Old American Songs, this 1884 song was supposedly used as a rabble-rouser for the Cleveland-Blaine Presidential campaign. Copland brings the song to life with a rhythm and energy one would expect of any politician out to get the vote.




Long Time Ago (1950-music by Aaron Copland, lyrics by George Pope Morris) Copland's brilliant arrangement of this anonymous black-face tune brings a lightness that lovingly offsets the melancholy of the story in Morris' adapted lyrics.




Memories A,-Very Pleasant, B,-Rather Sad (1897-music and lyrics by Charles Ives) In his songs, Ives beautifully captures the emotional framework of nineteenth century America without extreme sentimentality. In Memories he begins with a chatty first section filled with the excitement of being at the opera house. This is followed by a melancholy second section that uses a simple melody, both haunting and heart-breaking.




Songs My Mother Taught Me (1895-music by Charles Ives, lyrics by Adolf Heyduk) Written 15 years after Dvorak's setting of the Czech poem was published in Zigeunermelodien, op. 55, Ives makes a powerful, emotional statement in this simple old song based on those memories of childhood common to most people.




The Circus Band (1894-music and lyrics by Charles Ives) From the group Five Street Pieces. Written when he was only 20 years old, this song brings the excitement and anticipation felt by anyone standing on the sidelines watching the passing show, or, perhaps, playing in the circus band itself. Ives' harmonics emphasize the cacophony of band, circus performers and crowd.




Here Comes the Ballad (1959-music by Carl Davis, lyrics by Steven Vinaver) Davis, born in Brooklyn in 1936, wrote for the New York theatre before moving to London to become a major figure in the British film and television music world. This song, from the off-Broadway revue, Diversions, takes on the "beloved ballad" as sung by the stage ingenue or soubrette, giving it an unusual, theatrical spin.




Are You Love? (1931-Music by Sigmund Romberg, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, II) FIRST RECORDING Written for the operetta East Wind, one of a long series of flops Hammerstein wrote between Show Boat and Oklahoma. This was the first musical to be set in Vietnam. The song was introduced by leading lady Charlotte Lansing and her leading man J. Harold Murray. Its waltz strain is classic Romberg and its lyric among the most poignant written by Hammerstein in this period.




My House (1950-music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein) Part of an incidental music score for a stage presentation of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan starring Jean Arthur and Boris Karloff. Bernstein was not present for rehearsals and the lyric contains minor changes made by Marc Blitzstein, at the author's request. It was introduced by Marcia Henderson.




Dream With Me (1950-music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein) Cut from the production of Peter Pan, this song verges on opera both


vocally and dramatically. It has soaring melodies and emotional power. When asked two years later to revise his score for a film version, Bernstein turned the offer down, although he restored this song and wrote one more piece for a later tour of the play.




All The Things You Are (1939-music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, II) From another Hammerstein flop, Very Warm for May, the song was ignored by the critics who preferred simpler, more "usual" melodies from this show. The song has become a true American classic and a staple in both the concert hall and the jazz club despite the fact that it is musically complex - each eight bar phrase is unique and never repeated.




One Moment Alone (1931-music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Otto Harbach) A chromatic treasure from a long list of unusual songs by Kern. Written for the almost through-composed musical, The Cat and the Fiddle, that told the story of dueling pianist/songwriters who are also lovers, the song utilizes thematic material from within the show as underscored in the verse. It also employs an unusual change from verse to refrain (called "burthen" by Kern).




The First Rose of Summer (1919-music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Anne Caldwell) FIRST COMPLETE RECORDING Recorded by John McCormack in 1919, this is the first time the song has been recorded as written. With lyrics by one of the few successful women lyricists in the American theatre during the first half of the century, the song utilizes quotes from popular art songs and an expansive arioso style. Written for the show, She's a Good Fellow, and introduced by Broadway star Ivy Sawyer, the song, in McCormack's recording, was credited for making the show a hit.




Why Was I Born? (1929-Music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, II) Composer and critic Alec Wilder, analyzing this hit song from the show Sweet Adeline, suggested that the key to its success is "the alternation of single and double-note cadences," but audiences have loved it since it was introduced on the stage of Hammerstein Theatre by Helen Morgan, the original Julie in Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat which opened two years earlier.




Someone To Watch Over Me (1926-music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin; additional lyrics attributed to Gertrude Lawrence) One of five major hits from the show Oh, Kay!, introduced by Gertrude Lawrence. The title for the song was suggested by lyricist Howard Dietz who was also working on the show while Ira Gershwin was in the hospital. One critic remarked on the song, it "wrung the withers of even the most hardhearted of those present." It is one of the Gershwin songs recorded by almost every singer who has recorded any standards.




You Are You (1925-music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein, II) FIRST RECORDING From the operetta Song of the Flame. Cut from the musical prior to opening, this song was written in collaboration with composer Herbert Stothart. Initially in E-flat, it takes a sudden turn, mid-song into the key of C. The show was set in Russia and dealt with the romance of a Cossack and a rebellious, spirited peasant. The show's hit song Vodka claimed that the drink made the singer "feel odd-ka."




I Got Rhythm (1930-music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) Complicated rhythms abound in this song that almost bursts its form with its internal energy. Written for Ethel Merman to sing in Girl Crazy, it has an E-minor verse and an F-Major refrain. The piano solo heard on this recording is a partial transcription of Gershwin's own piano songbook version.




Blah, Blah, Blah (1931-music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) An early Hollywood effort for the Gershwins, this song was introduced by El Brendel and Janet Gaynor in Delicious. The song lyrically mocks the tradition of the June/Moon love songs that had proliferated in the 1920's. It asks the listener to imagine the missing words. Almost a collision in styles of art song and parlor song, the refrain is lilting and easy while the verse tells a staccato tale of the art of creation.




-J. Peter Bergman













heart songs




Beautiful Dreamer - Stephen Foster (Lyrics-Stephen Foster)




Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,


Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;


Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,


Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away!




Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,


List while I woo thee with soft melody;


Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,


Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!


Beautiful dreamer awake unto me!




Mermaids are chaunting the wild lorelie;


Over the streamlet vapors are borne,


Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.


Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,




E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;


Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,


Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!


Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!






Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway - Stephen Foster (Lyrics-Stephen Foster)




Ah! may the red rose live alway,


To smile upon earth and sky!


Why should the beautiful ever weep?


Why should the beautiful die?


Lending a charm to ev'ry ray


That falls on her cheeks of light,


Giving the zephyr kiss for kiss,


And nursing the dewdrop bright:


Ah! may the red rose live alway,


To smile upon earth and sky!


Why should the beautiful ever weep?


Why should the beautiful die?


Long may the daisies dance the field,


Frolicking far and near!


Why should the innocent hide their heads?


Why should the innocent fear?


Spreading their petals in mute delight


When morn in its radiance breaks,


Keeping a floral festival


Till the night-loving primrose wakes:


Long may the daisies dance the field,


Frolicking far and near!


Why should the innocent hide their heads?


Why should the innocent fear?


Lulled be the dirge in the cypress bough,


That tells of departed flowers!


Ah! that the butterfly's gilded wing


Fluttered in evergreen bowers!


Sad is my heart for the blighted plants


Its pleasures are aye as brief


They bloom at the young year's joyful call,


And fade with the autumn leaf:


Ah! may the red rose live alway,


To smile upon earth and sky!


Why should the beautiful ever weep?


Why should the beautiful die?






If You've Only Got A Moustache - Stephen Foster (Lyrics-George Cooper)




Oh! all of you poor single men,


Don't ever give up in despair,


For there's always a chance while there's life


To capture the hearts of the fair,


No matter what may be your age,


You always may cut a fine dash,


You will suit all the girls to a hair


If you've only got a moustache,


A moustache, a moustache,


If you've only got a moustache.


No matter for manners or style,


No matter for birth or for fame,


All these used to have something to do


With young ladies changing their name,


There's no reason now to despond,


Or go and do any thing rash,


For you'll do though you can't raise a cent,


If you'll only raise a moustache!


A moustache, a moustache,


If you'll only raise a moustache.


Your head may be thick as a block,


And empty as any foot-ball,


Oh! your eyes may be green as the grass


Your heart just as hard as a wall.


Yet take the advice that I give,


You'll soon gain affection and cash,


And will be all the rage with the girls,


If you'll only get a moustache,


A moustache, a moustache,


If you'll only get a moustache.






A Memory - Rudolph Ganz (Lyrics-Minnie K. Breid)




Somehow I feel that Thou art near,


Though there is naught around;


Somehow I hear Thy soft sweet voice,


Though there is not a sound;


Somehow I feel Thine eyes resting on mine,


Though looking, naught do I see;


Somehow I feel the touch of Thy hand:


Ah! 'Tis but a memory!






When Your Hair Is Like the Snow - Scott Joplin (Lyrics-Owen Spendthrift)




An aged couple seated by the firelight's cheerful glow,


Reviewed their happy courtship of the distant long ago.


The scene reverts to sadness as that scroll of time unrolled


A letter then to write they plan, this couple gray and old.


Far o'er the sea their only boy had gone to join the fray


Their lonely watch they kept for him as years rolled on their way;


At last they sent this message to that distant foreign land


"We miss you dear, we're old and poor" and thus the letter ran.


Our hair is like the snow,


Our cheeks have lost their glow,


Our eyes no longer sparkle like the dew


At life's twilight, old and gray,


We have waited day by day,


Will your children then desert you


When your hair is like the snow.


The captain of the regiment, a soldier young and fair,


Beloved by comrades feared by foes, received the missive there;


He read each line, then turned away to hide the tears that fell,


What battles fought within that heart no tongue can ever tell.


"I'll go!" he said, "To Mother dear, and Father kind and true,


I'll leave these crimson battle fields for lands where skies are blue"


He hurried home across the foam, alas! but all in vain,


Beneath the weeping willows there he read these lines again.






The Sleep That Flits On Baby's Eyes - John Alden Carpenter (Lyrics-Rabindranath Tagore)




The sleep that flits on baby's eyes,


does anybody know from where it comes?


Yes, there is a rumour that it has its dwelling where,


in the fairy village among the shadows of the forest


dimly lit with glow worms,


there hang two timid buds of enchantment.


From there it comes to kiss baby's eyes.






The Dodger - (Campaign Song) Arranged by Aaron Copland




Yes the candidate's a dodger, yes a well known dodger,


Yes the candidate's a dodger, yes and I'm a dodger too


He'll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote


But look out boys he's a dodgin' for a note,


Yes we're all dodgin' a-dodgin', dodgin', dodgin'


Yes we're all dodgin' out a way through the world.




Yes the preacher he's a dodger yes a well known dodger,


Yes the preacher he's a dodger yes and I'm a dodger too


He'll preach you a gospel and tell you of your crimes


But look out boys he's a dodgin' for your dimes,


Yes we're all dodgin' a-dodgin', dodgin', dodgin'


Yes we're all dodgin' out a way through the world.




Yes the lover he's a dodger, yes a well known dodger


Yes the lover he's a dodger, yes and I'm a dodger too


He'll hug you and kiss you and call you his bride


But look out girls he's a tellin' you a lie


Yes we're all dodgin', a-dodgin', dodgin', dodgin'


Yes we're all dodgin' out a way through the world.






Long Time Ago - (Ballad) Arranged by Aaron Copland




On the lake where droop'd the willow


Long time ago


Where the rock threw back the billow


Brighter than snow.


Dwelt a maid beloved and cherish'd


By high and low


But with autumn leaf she perish'd


Long time ago.


Rock and tree and flowing water


Long time ago


Bird and bee and blossom taught her


Love's spell to know


While to my fond words she listen'd


Murmuring low


Tenderly her blue eyes glisten'd


Long time ago.






Memories - Charles Ives (Lyrics-Charles Ives)




A, - Very Pleasant · B, - Rather Sad




We're sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house;


We're waiting for the curtain to arise with wonders for our eyes;


We're feeling pretty gay, and well we may, "O, Jimmy, look!" I say,


"The band is tuning up and soon will start to play."


We whistle and we hum, beat time with the drum.


We whistle and we hum, beat time with the drum,




We're sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house,


awaiting for the curtain to rise with wonders for our eyes,


a feeling of expectancy, a certain kind of ecstasy,


expectancy and ecstasy, expectancy and ecstasy Sh'..s'..s'.s. Curtain!




From the street a strain on my ear doth fall,


A tune as thread-bare as that "old red shawl,"


It is tattered, it is torn, it shows signs of being worn,


It's the tune my Uncle hummed from early morn,


'Twas a common little thing and kind 'a sweet,


But 'twas sad and seemed to slow up both his feet;


I can see him shuffling down to the barn or to the town, a humming.






Songs My Mother Taught Me - Charles Ives (Lyrics-Heyduk - translation adapted)




Songs my mother taught me in days long vanished,


Seldom from her eyelids were the tear drops banished,


were the tear drops banished.


Now I teach my children each melodious measure


often tears are flowing, flowing from my memory's treasure.


Songs my mother taught me in days long vanished.


Seldom from her eyelids were the tear drops banished,


were the tear drops banished.






The Circus Band - Charles Ives (Lyrics-Charles Ives)




All summer long, we boys dreamed 'bout big circus joys!


Down Main street, comes the band,


Oh! "Aint it a grand and a glorious noise!"




Horses are prancing, Knights advancing;


Helmets gleaming , Pennants streaming,


Cleopatra's on her throne! That golden hair is all her own.




Where is the lady all in pink?


Last year she waved to me I think;


Can she have died? Can! that! rot!


She is passing but she sees me not!






Here Comes the Ballad - by Carl Davis (Lyrics-Steven Vinaver)




Enter the ingenue clutching a rose,


singing a high G flat;


Slowly she motions offstage right,


Shyly she mentions that:


Here comes the ballad,


Be on your guard


It's bound to take a while.


Here comes the ballad,


And, oh, it's hard to have to sing and smile


Smile while I render this tender interminable thing,


For though it's hard to listen to,


It's also rather difficult to sing.


Here comes the ballad,


Here come those chords,


Here's the part I hate:


Crescendo, Diminuendo, Wait.


(Here's the part I talk and act very casual and sad)


and here we change the key


Here comes the ballad,


We're now in E,


It sounds the same to me.


And here's the part I never,


simply never can recall,


So I leave out some and only sing a snatch,


It's devilishly crowded and it never seems to rhyme


And it's far too fast for anyone to catch!


Here comes the ballad


There goes my love


Here's where I start to cry


Accelerando, Ritardando,








Are You Love? - Sigmund Romberg (lyrics-Oscar Hammerstein II)




Have you come to me at last


With your kiss to bind me fast?


Have I left a lonely past behind me?


Are you romance? My one big chance?


Are you romance? Come to find me?


Are you love?


Are you the dream I've waited for?


Are you my brave and shining knight


With the right to take me?


Are you mine?


Then I am yours forever more.


Ev'rything I do


Will be done for you,


You can make or break me.


Are my arms the arms you want around you now?


Then let them hold you here,


While I have you near


Heaven won't forsake me.


Are you love?


Then come and prove that you are mine alone.


Take me now,


Keep me for your own






My House - Leonard Bernstein (Lyrics-Leonard Bernstein)




Will you build me a house?


A house that really will be mine!


Then let me give you my design


A simple scheme of


The house I dream of.


Build my house of wood,


Build my house of stone,


Build my house of brick and mortar;


Make the ceilings strong,


Strong against the storm,


Shelter when the days grow shorter;


But build my house of love,


and paint my house with trusting,


and warm it with the warmth of your heart;


Make the floor of faith,


Make the walls of truth,


Put a roof of peace above;


Only build my house of love.






Dream With Me - Leonard Bernstein (Lyrics-Leonard Bernstein)




Dream with me tonight,


Tonight and ev'ry night


Wherever you may chance to be


We're together if we dream the same sweet dream,


And though we may be far apart,


Keep me in your heart and dream with me.


The kiss we never dared we'll dare in dreaming.


The love we never shared can still have meaning,


If you only dream a magic dream with me tonight,


Tonight and ev'ry night,


Wherever you may chance to be.


Close your lovely eyes and dream with me.






All the Things You Are - Jerome Kern (Lyrics-Oscar Hammerstein II)




Time and again I've longed for adventure,


Something to make my heart beat the faster.


What did I long for? I never really knew.


Finding your love I've found my adventure,


Touching your hand, my heart beats the faster,


All that I want in all of this world is you.




You are the promised kiss of springtime


That makes the lonely winter seem long.


You are the breathless hush of evening


That trembles on the brink of a lovely song.


You are the angel glow that lights a star,


The dearest things I know are what you are.


Some day my happy arms will hold you,


And some day I'll know that moment divine,


When all the things you are, are mine!






One Moment Alone - by Jerome Kern (Lyrics-Otto Harbach)




The breeze kissed your hair


Knowing you were fair


And all the night seemed to woo,


I wanted too


But I didn't dare.


You filled me with despair.


One moment there I sat with you


Then vanished from your view.




One moment alone


That's all we have known,


And yet it seemed paradise


Had opened its golden portal


There in your lovely eyes.


One moment alone


'Twas then I was shown


A glimpse of an angel fair,


Too much for a lovely mortal,


That's why it ended there.




One word or two tenderly spoken,


Gay little laugh, sad little sigh


Then all old dreams suddenly broken,


Ev'rything changed under the sky.




One moment alone


Is all that we own


And yet in its joy and pain


Was builded a hope eternal,


It might be lived again.






The First Rose of Summer - Jerome Kern (Lyrics-Anne Caldwell)




I have wondered if it could be,


I should be the first one that you loved,


As but few loved,


It's a question oft rehearsed.


I suppose you trifled sometimes,


Just like all the rest.


But I'm so glad that it chanced to be,


The first you cared for was little me


For I know the first is always best.


The first rose in the garden blooming


Is the first smile on the face of spring


The first song heard


From the bluebird makes your eyes fill


With such a heart thrill,


The first kiss that you gave your sweetheart


Is the fondest that you recall


And the first rose that blooms in summer,


Is like your first love the best of all.








Why I Was Born - by Jerome Kern (Lyrics-Oscar Hammerstein II)




Spending these lonesome evenings


With nothing to do but to live in dreams that I make up,


All by myself;


Dreaming that you're beside me,


I picture the prettiest stories only to wake up,


All by myself.


What is the good of me, by myself?


Why was I born? Why am I living?


What do I get? What am I giving?


Why do I want a thing I daren't hope for?


What can I hope for?


I wish I knew.


Why do I try to draw you near me?


Why do I cry?


You never hear me.


I'm a poor fool, but what can I do?


Why was I born to love you?






Someone to Watch Over Me - George Gershwin (Lyrics-Ira Gershwin;


additional lyrics attributed to Gertrude Lawrence)




There's a saying old


Says that love is blind,


Still we're often told,


"Seek and ye shall find."


So I'm going to seek


A certain lad I've had in mind.


Looking ev'rywhere,


Haven't found him yet;


He's the big affair I cannot forget.


Only man I ever think of with regret.


I'd like to add his initial to my monogram.


Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb.


There's a somebody I'm longing to see.


I hope that he turns out to be


Someone who'll watch over me.


I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood.


I know I could always be good


To one who'll watch over me.


Although he may not be the man


Some girls think of as handsome.


To my heart he carries the key.


Won't you tell him please to put on some speed,


Follow my lead, Oh, how I need


Someone to watch over me.


Although he may not be the man some


Girls think of as handsome,


To my heart he carries the key


Won't you tell him all my love I will save,


I'll be his slave.


Oh, how I crave


Someone to watch over me.






You Are You - George Gershwin (Lyrics-Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II)


When you're in love


What is the use


Trying to find out why?


I am in love,


Have no excuse,


All I can do is sigh;


My heart is mine no more


And here's the only reason:


You are you and that is why I love you,


You are you and I am only I.


And yet from where you are you deign to smile down on me;


Near my dear, my only fear is that some day you'll frown on me


It's just as tho a golden star above you


Had won away your heart and worry too


It may but seem an idle dream


For me to love you


But I am I and that is why you do!






I Got Rhythm - George Gershwin (Lyrics-Ira Gershwin)




Days can be sunny,


With never a sigh;


Don't need what money can buy.


Birds in the tree sing


Their dayful of song,


Why shouldn't we sing along?


I'm chipper all the day,


Happy with my lot.


How do I get that way?


Look at what I've got:


I got rhythm,


I got music,


I got my man


Who could ask for anything more?


I got daisies


In green pastures,


I got my man


Who could ask for anything more?


Old Man Trouble,


I don't mind him,


You won't find him


'Round my door.


I got starlight,


I got sweet dreams,


I got my man


Who could ask for anything more,


Who could ask for anything more?






Blah, Blah, Blah - George Gershwin (Lyrics-Ira Gershwin)




I've written you a song,


A beautiful routine; (I hope you like it.)


My technique can't be wrong,


I learned it from the screen. (I hope you like it)


I studied all the rhymes that all the lovers sing;


Then just for you I wrote this little thing.


Blah, blah, blah, blah moon,


Blah, blah, blah above,


Blah, blah, blah, blah croon,


Blah, blah, blah, blah love.


Tra la la la, tra la la la la,


merry month of May;


Tra la la la, tra la la la la,


'neath the clouds of gray.


Blah, blah, blah your hair,


Blah, blah, blah your eyes;


Blah, blah, blah, blah care


Blah, blah, blah, blah skies.


Tra la la la, tra la la la la,


cottage for two,


Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah


darling with you!






Jean Danton




Soprano Jean Danton's distinguished career has allowed her to explore the widest range of musical styles possible. She has performed throughout the United States in opera, musical theater, oratorio, recital, and contemporary music. Her stage roles have included Polly Peachum in both John Gay's Beggar's Opera and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, Miss Silverpeal in Mozart's The Impresario, Nanette in Vincent Youman's No, No, Nanette, Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, and Musetta in Puccini's La Boheme. Under Harry Ellis Dickson, she sang the role of Quiteria in the U.S. premiere of Telemann's Don Quixote. She has performed as a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society under Christopher Hogwood, Oregon Bach Festival conducted by Helmuth Rilling, Boston Baroque with Martin Pearlman, and the Boston Pops led by Bruce Hangen. Ms. Danton made her Carnegie Hall debut performing Handel's Messiah with The Masterwork Chorus under David Briskin.




Her numerous festival appearances include the Carmel Bach Festival, Winter Park Bach Festival, Breckenridge Music Festival, NY Bach Aria Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival. She has performed concerts of music by Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and under Gerhardt Zimmermann, Viennese operetta with the North Carolina Symphony. Her concert repertoire has included Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Mozart's Requiem, Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, and Bach's Mass in B Minor, as well as his Passions and many Cantatas. She has premiered works by American composers Sharon Davis, Thomas Stumpf, and William Moylan.




An active recording artist, Ms. Danton sang cycles by Dominick Argento, Arnold Cooke, and William Moylan on her first solo CD, Songs of Innocence, for Albany Records. She can also be heard in the PBS documentaries The Nobel Legacy and Apollo 13 -To the Edge and Back, on Lifetime's Mary Magdelen and on the CD, Origins (Albany Records), composed by William Moylan. Ms. Danton received degrees from the Hartt School of Music in opera performance and S.U.N.Y. at Fredonia, New York in voice performance and musical theater.




Thomas Stumpf




Thomas Stumpf received degrees in piano performance from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He won concerto competitions at both institutions and was awarded the Bösendorfer Prize (Vienna, 1970) and the Lilli Lehmann medal (Salzburg, 1972). His performing career has taken him across four continents. He has performed with singers Rita Streich, Edith Mathis and Karen Beardsley, clarinetist Richard Stolzman, flautist Claude Monteaux and violinists Yuri and Dana Mazurkevich. He has also appeared with the Hong Kong Philharmonia, the Boston Pops (under Arthur Fiedler), and many other ensembles.




Stumpf has performed regularly with soprano Jean Danton, including several recitals in New York and Boston. They collaborated on the CD Songs of Innocence for the Albany label and premiered Stumpf's song cycle, Little Girl Lost. He has introduced many compositions by contemporary composers, including those written for him by W. Thomas McKinley, Thomas Oboe Lee, William Moylan, and Robert Ceely, whose Piano Variations he recorded on the BEEP label. In 1992 he won the Kahn award for his music theater project Dark Lady. Stumpf also maintains a prominent career as a teacher and lecturer and has held positions at New England Conservatory, was Head of the Piano Department at the University of Lowell, and was Chair of the Collaborative Piano Department at Boston University. He has regularly given masterclasses at the B.U. Tanglewood Institute in Mannheim, Germany and at the Montanea Festival in Switzerland. He recently founded Prism Opera, a music theater ensemble.




Producer: Donald Wilkinson


Recording Engineer: James Donahue


Recording Editor: Michael Breault


Mastering Engineer: Laurie Flannery, Northeastern Digital Recording


Recorded at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall


Photographs (cover and booklet of Jean Danton and Thomas Stumpf by Mark Morelli








American Dreamer


heart songs




Jean Danton, soprano


Thomas Stumpf, piano




1. Beautiful Dreamer • Stephen Foster (3:06)


2. Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway • Stephen Foster (5:39)


3. If You've Only Got a Moustache • Stephen Foster (1:31)


4. A Memory • Rudolph Ganz (1:49)


5. When Your Hair Is Like The Snow • Scott Joplin (4:23)


6. The Sleep That Flits On Baby's Eyes • John Alden Carpenter (3:22)


7. The Dodger • Aaron Copland (2:22)


8. Long Time Ago • Aaron Copland (2:33)


9. Memories A,-Very Pleasant, B,-Rather Sad • Charles Ives (2:50)


10. Songs My Mother Taught Me • Charles Ives (2:19)


11. The Circus Band • Charles Ives (2:01)


12. Here Comes the Ballad • Carl Davis (3:48)


13. Are You Love? • Sigmund Romberg (3:17) world premiere recording


14. My House • Leonard Bernstein (2:09)


15. Dream With Me • Leonard Bernstein (4:13)


assisted by Michael Curry, cello


16. All The Things You Are • Jerome Kern (4:02)


17. One Moment Alone • Jerome Kern (3:23)


18. The First Rose of Summer • Jerome Kern (3:01)


19. Why Was I Born? • Jerome Kern (3:19)


20. Someone To Watch Over Me • George Gershwin (3:23)


21. You Are You • George Gershwin (3:25) world premiere recording


22. I Got Rhythm • George Gershwin (1:53)


23. Blah, Blah, Blah • George Gershwin (3:04)


Total Time = 71:34