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Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul August 23, 2011

At some point in your life this has probably happened to you. And it will likely happen again. Be prepared.

You’re in a room with a piano. No one in the room plays the piano very well. A couple of people, however, know one song. It’s a catchy duet that’s fun to play, and they can’t resist playing it.

That’s fine. Hoagy Carmichael was a genius and “Heart and Soul” is a lovely tune. Even a sloppy rendition can be enjoyable. The second and maybe even the third rendition may be fun and pleasant.

But the fourth time through, and the fifth, and the sixth, will be less enjoyable. The seventh may be unbearable. And the enthusiastic pianists will show no signs of stopping.

There’s only one way I’ve found to make it stop without coming across like a jerk: Sing.

Frank Loesser was a genius too. Here are his lyrics:

Heart and soul, I fell in love with you,
Heart and soul, the way a fool would do,
Madly…
Because you held me tight,
And stole a kiss in the night…

Heart and soul, I begged to be adored,
Lost control, and tumbled overboard,
Gladly…
That magic night we kissed,
There in the moon mist.

Oh! but your lips were thrilling, much too thrilling,
Never before were mine so strangely willing.

But now I see, what one embrace can do,
Look at me, it’s got me loving you,
Madly…
That little kiss you stole,
Held all my heart and soul.

Memorize them. Learn to sing them with gusto. If singing is not your forté, don’t let that stop you — remember, piano isn’t their forté either and that’s not stopping them.

Pay special attention to the end of the song. You need this to be a Big Finish. End high and loud and people will clap. High and loud endings always make people clap.

This is important, because when people clap, everyone will realize that the song is now over. Smile and take a bow and gesture for the pianists to take a bow as well. Taking their bow, your musical friends will realize that the “Heart and Soul” portion of the evening is now finished.

Alas, I do not know the lyrics to “Chopsticks.”

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