Sunday, November 21, 2010

San Francisco

I'm happy to report that "Graceland" by Paul Simon is no longer stuck in my head.  That one set a new record for longevity in my head - about 2 months.  The previous record was held by "Lady of Spain" on accordian, which was in there in 1988 for at least 3 weeks of my life I will never get back.

The head-unsticking song is San Francisco, as sung by Jeanette MacDonald.  I was watching the movie San Francisco on TV last night, starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Jeanette MacDonald, set during the 1906 earthquake that demolished San Francisco.  I started nodding off to sleep.  I was jolted out of my drifting by Jeanette, singing this song like she was at a big parade.  Her voice soared through high notes I've never even heard.  I sat up and watched the rest of the movie. I didn't know who that lady was, because I've never seen a Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald movie (I was raised by wolves, I guess). 

When I woke up this morning, that song was stuck in my head.  I googled the movie and found out it was Jeanette singing.  That made sense - I'd heard she was a really good singer.  I have been listening to this song on youtube this morning.  Here is the link, if you'd like an idea of what it feels like to have this song stuck in your head.

I told Greg that I can't stop hearing this song.  I was in the kitchen baking muffins, and didn't realize he was behind me.  I burst into San Francisco and started sashaying around the kitchen like Jeanette did in the movie, waving my arms and marching.  Greg laughed.  He said why are you marching?  I told him because Jeanette did, in her big fluffy dress.  I told him we should go to karaoke and let me sing it and march around.  He said he couldn't wait to hear me ask the DJ if they had the #1 song from 1906.   The movie was not filmed in 1906, that's when the big earthquake was.  The movie was filmed in 1936.  But seriously, what DJ has hits from 1936, much less 1906.

Greg said in Barbra Streisand movies, when she bursts into song the whole town joins in and marches along with her.  Like on the Simpsons, when the whole town does everything together.  He said he's never seen that in real life.  I reminded him of when we were in Las Vegas on Fremont Street, and they ran the light show of Don McLean singing American Pie.  I told him that is probably the only place in the world where everyone joins in and dances and marches; he reminded me that 95% of those people are drunk on their butts. 

Enjoy the song, and you might want to watch the Judy Garland version too, where she makes fun of Jeanette MacDonald singing in the ruins of the Great San Francisco Earthquake.  She sings a much vampier version.


  1. Love me some Clark Gable--I am not a fan of the 'operatic' singing--we have a couple of ladies in church who do that and it drives me bonkers!!:) (I know I shouldn't be thinking of them in church but I can't help it!) Hope this one doesn't last as long. Have you heard of 'fan mall'? It's when people practice a song, go to a specific mall and then break into song and dance. You would love it!

  2. I am with Jannie; not so sure about the song, but the look on Clark Gables' face is dreamy!