But the melody lingers on!

The Mills Brothers – The Song is Ended

These sort of smooth ‘moonlight’ harmonies are so delicious to listen to at night, with a cup of warm tea and the yellow lights all on in the house. Warm glow inside, all dark and streetlights outside. The Mills Brothers are really one of the best, and surprisingly underrated, bands I’ve come across in recent(ish) days. Well, not so recent – I first came across ‘Paper Doll’ when reading Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge for dear ol’ A-Level English, but it’s hardly their best song (for me), so it took me a while to appreciate them properly. Songs & artists found in sad American plays are always good though – there was ‘Paper Doll’, and then ‘Paper Moon’ (A Streetcar Named Desire). Was it something about post-war America that attached itself to paper metaphors? Easily torn and fragile and all that? I wonder. Paper-metaphors do pepper those works, though, and my not-quite synesthetic remembrance of them is of silhouettes behind curtains; little paper lanterns (à la Blanche) over warm yellow lightbulbs; jazz into New Orleans nights (presided over by a yellow-glow moon, of course).

The Mills Brothers’ voices just cocoon you in warmth and love. I wish one could sink into opiate sleep through musical means (I have never been able to!).

The calm before sleep where one potters around one’s room alone with (hopefully) some soft music in the background, the lights all slowly turning off, books being shoved aside and the pillows laid out, is my favourite time of day. The nocturnal moment, encapsulated perfectly in nocturnes. I have been meaning to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes for a long time because of this – I love nocturnes (be they Chopin’s or otherwise!) and I love a certain nocturnal feeling. I wonder if that can be properly translated into literature.


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