Taking a chance on Love

This is the tune that sang to me at midnight when I went to bed early, then woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. There were actually several songs vying for my attention in that still foggy, semi-conscious state. Teaching dreams often find me in the wee, small hours and I would’ve welcomed a good talking to but it was the music, again, that had the proverbial floor.

Love me do by The Beatles was also vying for the top whisperer this early morning. According to producer George Martin, that 1962 pop song changed the world forever. Not because it was number one on the charts but because Love me do (which incants the word love 23 times) marked a radical change of style in pop music.

I could write a book, a Rogers and Hart show tune, chimed in with a few opening lines too. In this case, crooner Michael Buble’ had the microphone. “If you asked me, I could write a book about the way you walk and whisper and look.” But it was Taking a chance on Love that won the hour.

Taking a chance on love was first introduced in the groundbreaking 1940 Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky (another Rogers and Hart collaboration) with an all black cast. MGM produced the movie version in 1943. The comical plot is about a man who ‘s shot for unpaid gambling debts, dies (or dreams he does) and gets a second chance at life if he can redeem himself.

Frank Sinatra made Taking famous. It was the last song he sang in public and the title became his epitaph. Why have “Taking a chance on Love” written on your tombstone? Here are my initial thoughts. The phrase connotes a perspective that the man who millions, if not billions, of people admired wanted us to remember him by.

That given the choice of whether to turn away from romance when it knocks on your door or to open up and take the chance you might get hurt, he says go for it. That for all the tears and regrets that often come with love (or did in the past) that allowing new love in is definitely worth it.

Sinatra was and still is an icon in the world of music. The song has achieved standards status, meaning it’s in every performer’s repertoire – even if they haven’t recorded it. You probably know the song too.

Taking a Chance on Love

Here I go again. I hear those trumpets blow again. All aglow again. Taking a chance on Love. Here I slide again. About to take that ride again. Starry-eyed again. Taking a chance on Love. I thought that cards were a frame up I never would try but now I’m taking the game up and the ace of hearts is high. Things are mending now. I see a rainbow blending now. We have a happy ending now. Taking a chance on love. Here I slip again. About to take that trip again. I got that grip again. Taking a chance on love. Now I prove again. I can make life move again. I’m in a groove again. Taking a chance on love. I walk around in a horseshoe. In clover I lie. And brother rabbit of course you better kiss your foot goodbye. On that ball again. I’m riding for a fall again. I’m gonna give my all again. Taking a chance on love.

Song by Duke Vernon with lyrics by John La Touché and Tom Fettler

As long as we’re alive, we always have a chance to start again.

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