By Philip Lambert
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Extra resources for Alec Wilder
C So blue the skies, All sweet surprise, Shines before our eyes While we’re young. The lyric is perfectly nuanced and yet disarmingly simple; only five of the refrain’s sixty words are longer than one syllable. Palitz’s melody too is the essence of simplicity—a perfect counterpart—and Wilder seems to have restrained himself somewhat to stay clear of overly complex chord structures in his harmonization. The writers have also noted that the song was originally written in duple meter but changed to triple to enhance its commercial viability.
16 His lyrics in these songs are simple and direct and consistent with current songwriting practices. “Just One” is typical: A Just One Under the sun Gives me such devotion Just as deep as the ocean No wonder, I am in love. A Just One Under the sun To my heart keeps bringing Love that makes it keep singing Just One. B You are my beacon of light One star out of the night We’ll walk into the dawn Just you and I. A Just One Under the sun Or in stormy weather We’ll be always together Just One. The song’s musical form is likewise standard, with symmetrical four- and eight-bar phrases fitting snugly within thirty-two-bar AABA conventions.
It’s All Done with Mirrors,” “Lovely”) are often enlivened by moments of chromatic interest. , “Sunlight’s Got Me in Between,” “You Incredibly Lovely Human Being”). ”). These songs show that Wilder had been absorbing influences astutely, not only when listening to Jerome Kern or George Gershwin on the Victrola or at the theater but also while getting to know music by Wagner and Debussy back at Eastman. In this respect, these songs are not commonplace at all and seem intent on challenging conventions and finding a distinctive voice.
Alec Wilder by Philip Lambert