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Essential Jazz Standards – Jazz Play Along: Lullaby of Birdland

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    Jazz Play Along: Essential Jazz Standards: Lullaby of Birdland.

    Music by George Shearing, words by George David Weiss (sheet music)

    Background track with melody to Play Along:

    Jazz Play Along: Essential Jazz Standards: Lullaby of Birdland free sheet music & scores pdf

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    Lyrics:

    Oh, lullaby of birdland that’s what i
    Always hear, when you sigh,
    Never in my wordland could there be ways to reveal
    In a phrase how i feel.

    Have you ever heard two turtle doves
    Bill and coo when they love?
    That’s the kind of magic music we make with our lips
    When we kiss

    And there’s a weepy old willow
    He really knows how to cry
    That’s how i’d cry in my pillow
    If you should tell me farewell and goodbye

    Lullaby of birdland whisper low
    Kiss me sweet, and we’ll go
    Flying high in birdland, high in the sky up above
    All because we’re in love

    Lullaby, lullaby

    Have you ever heard two turtle doves
    Bill and coo when they love?
    That’s the kind of magic music we make with our lips
    When we kiss

    And there’s a weepy old willow
    He really knows how to cry
    That’s how i’d cry in my pillow
    If you should tell me farewell and goodbye

    Lullaby of birdland whisper low
    Kiss me sweet, and we’ll go
    Flying high in birdland, high in the sky up above
    All because we’re in love

    Lullaby of Birdland

    Lullaby of Birdland is a jazz standard composed in 1952 by George Shearing, with lyrics by George David Weiss, under the pseudonym ‘B. Y. Forster’ .

    The title refers to Bird, the nickname of saxophonist Charlie Parker, and Birdland, the local New York jazz historian.

    The song, composed by the English pianist and composer George Shearing, who recorded it in the same year (1952) in New York with his quintet, was later taken up by many artists (in recent times also by Amy Winehouse).

    Other versions include Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Mel Tormé, Chris Connor, Quincy Jones, pianist Friedrich Gulda and, in Italy, Mina.

    Georges Shearing

    GEORGE SHEARING enjoyed an international reputation as a pianist, arranger and composer. Both on the concert stage and in jazz clubs, Shearing was renowned for his inventiveness and jazz orchestration.

    He wrote more than 300 compositions, including the classic ‘Lullaby of Birdland’, which has become a jazz standard.

    Shearing was born in 1919 in the Battersea area of ​​London. Congenitally blind, he was the youngest of nine children. His only formal musical education consisted of four years of study at the Linden Lodge School for the Blind.

    Although his talent earned him several college scholarships, he was forced to turn them down in favor of a more productive pursuit: playing piano at a neighborhood pub for the attractive salary of five dollars a week! Shearing joined a blind band in the 1930s.

    At this time, he developed a friendship with noted jazz critic and author Leonard Feather. Through this contact, he made his first appearance on BBC radio.

    In 1947, Shearing moved to America, where he spent two years establishing his fame on this side of the Atlantic. The sound of shearing attracted national attention when, in 1949, he assembled a quintet to record ‘September in the Rain’ for MGM. The record was an overnight success, selling 900,000 copies.

    His reputation in the United States was permanently established when he was booked at Birdland, New York City’s legendary jazz venue.

    In 1982 and 1983, he won Grammy Awards for recordings he made with Mel Tormé. Shearing was the subject of an hour-long television documentary titled The Shearing Touch featured on The Southbank Show with Melvyn Bragg on ITV in the UK, which can now be seen in the US on the Bravo channel.

    He has received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans in 1978, and a community recreational facility in Battersea, south London, was named the George Shearing Center in his honour.

    In May 1993, he was awarded the British equivalent of the Grammy—the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement. In June 1996, shearing was inducted into the Queen’s Birthday Honors List, and on 26 November he was inducted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his ‘service to the music and Anglo-American relations’.

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