Friday, September 25, 2009

Interchangeable Phrasing, Berlin/Williams & Cash/Townsend Edition

Noticed that the chorus of the old semi-standard "Red Sails in the Sunset" is interchangeable, phrasing-wise, with that of Irving Berlin's rock-solid standard "How Deep Is the Ocean":
Red sails in the sunset
Way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one
Home safely to me

You can sing it to the tune of Berlin's standard, or vice versa:
How much do I love you?
I'll tell you no lie
How deep is the ocean?
How high is the sky?

Which reminded of my favorite interchangeable-phrasing parlor trick. I'll sing Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" all the way through, then add this verse, which fits the tune perfectly (particularly the last five words):
Ever since I was a young boy
I played the silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton
I musta played 'em all
But I ain't seen nothing like it
In any amusement hall
That deaf, dumb, and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball

Try it at home!

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