Irving Berlin wrote a song called “Your Just In Love” for his show “Call Me Madam”. It’s one of those standards that seems to have been around forever and it has a very catchy tune. No, that’s the point, it has TWO very catchy tunes that are even better when they’re sung together. It was one of the first songs I ever taught to a class of children. Because it’s so catchy, the children had no problem learning it. They wanted to sing it.
Obviously, you don’t launch into two parts immediately. You need to be canny about it. Don’t let on that there are two different tunes but regard tune 2 as a natural continuation of the first. Those of you who know the song will know what I mean. It starts with “I hear singing and there’s no-one there, I smell blossom and the trees are bare…etc”. Thats tune 1. Then it goes on to “You don’t need analysing, It is not so surprising, That you feel very strange but nice….etc.” That’s tune 2. My classes picked up these melodies very quickly indeed, with lots of finger clicking and general body swaying. Then comes the killer blow – the two tunes can be sung together! Suddenly the class is a choir and there’s a general feeling of elation. They’re hooked on part singing!
That song was a turning point for me. Thereafter my own music is liberally laced with Irving Berlin’s idea and it stiil works just as well as that first time. If you don’t know the song, look for it on iTunes or Spotify or YouTube. It’s a winner.
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