Monday, October 26, 2009

Songs My Mother Taught Me . . . To Each His Own

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{This is the 11th in an undetermined number of songs my mother taught me I'm posting this month in her memory. For background, please visit the post containing the first song, Ivory Tower.}

To Each His Own was original music written by Victor Young for the 1946 movie of the same name, something I just learned while researching for this post. I only knew it as my mother's favorite song. Now I realize that it was her song for my father; maybe it was even "their song," since they were together in 1946 when it was recorded by five different artists/groups that year, all of them hits.

When I was little I liked looking at her albums when she was at work. There were a few album covers that I found particularly enchanting and perplexing and I played the records to unlock the mysteries of the cover photos and artwork. One was an album by The Ink Spots (another I will probably write about this week as I am wrapping up my October tribute of songs my mother taught me).  My mother also had the 45 rpm record of this song and played it so frequently that it seems in my mind a soundtrack for my hours growing from 3- to 4- to 5-years old. [Note: since first posting this the video of The Ink Spots version was deleted. I am replacing it with Al Martino's version, which was actually more popular.]

When I was a young teen my mother received a gift in the mail from an old friend who had shared days of heartbreak and divorce in the mid-1950s, a woman who had moved to California years before but with whom she stayed in touch. She opened the package to find a metal music box that had a shallow bowl for loose powder, with a small puff, under the lid on top. The turn-key was on the bottom and, when wound, played this tune. It still does...... although I must find someone who repairs old music boxes as it no longer winds fully so the song begins at wind-down-slow and ends after a few lines. The music box now in my possession seems nearly alive to me as it bravely chimes sparse notes of my mother's favorite song, To Each His Own.

- In 1946 there were five Top 10 versions- Eddy Howard (#1).The Ink Spots (#1)
Freddy Martin (#1), The Modernaires with Paula Kelly (#3),and Tony Martin (#4)
- also charted by The Platters # 21 in 1960
- also charted by The Tymes at # 78 in 1964
- also charted by Frankie Laine at # 82 in 1968

- also charted by Al Martino on his Greatest Hits album and it appears again on The Godfather III soundtrack album

To Each His Own- lyrics

A rose must remain with the sun and the rain
Or its lovely promise won't come true
To each his own, to each his own
And my own is you

What good is a song if the words just don't belong?
And a dream must be a dream for two
No good alone, to each his own
For me there's you


If a flame is to grow there must be a glow
To open each door there's a key
I need you, I know, I can't let you go
Your touch means too much to me

Two lips must insist on two more to be kissed
Or they'll never know what love can do
To each his own, I've found my own
One and only you



JonathanAquino said...

It must be beautiful to grow up in a musical household -- you know, like the Von Trap kids?I never knew my parents, but my grandmother told me that my father loved "Love Me Tender" by Elvis. What about you? What songs would YOU teach your children? Would those include Beyonce and Usher?

Darlene said...

'To Each His Own' was very popular and I remember it well.

Every couple had an 'our song'. The 'our song' was "That's My Desire'. I was on my way from work to the nursing home to visit my husband when I stopped in the drug store to buy a candy bar to tide me over until I arrived home at 10 pm. The Musac was playing our song and that's the last time I heard it. When I got to my husband's room I told him they had been playing our song; he took my hand and turned my wedding ring around and around. He was unable to speak and that was his way of letting me know how much it meant.
This is a bittersweet memory.

Margaret Pangert said...

I love these gorgeous rose images! You get the most out of old blogger! This song was also sung in the Godfather (at a wedding, by Al Martino--I looked it up), and you can see how it's about relationships, give and take, mutual passion. A lot of feeling. This is exciting! Can't wait to hear what's next! xxox

Ted Bagley said...

I love the Ink Spots!
I have a Zafu question just for you!!!!...sort of. :)

Lydia said...

@Jonathan- What a sadness that you never knew your parents. Just knowing one of your father's favorite songs establishes a bit of closeness...
What a good question! No, I wouldn't teach them any Usher because I don't know any Usher (sorry:) And where I find myself singing the verse to Single Ladies, I doubt there'd be any Beyonce on my list. I'd definitely teach them the silly songs my mother taught me. And so many from the 1960s-70s...probably about all of Simon & Garfunkel songs...Yesterday by the Beatles, Ruby Tuesday by the Stones, many Motown songs...Andrew Lloyd Weber tunes...and would expose them to opera and classical.

@Darlene- I read your comment early on in the day and thought about what you shared throughout the day. It was such a special story that it brought tears to my eyes. Tonight I listened to three different versions of the song (I had never heard it before), Laine's 1957 and 1958 recordings and when he appeared on a PBS special at age 92 and sang your song. I like this song; it's sophisticated and very danceable.
Bless your sweet memories.

@Margaret- You're great to find that Al Martino info. I still have not seen that particular Godfather sequel and now I really want to. I listened to his version at youtube and think my mom would have like it a lot. :)

@Ted- Wow, we share a fairly esoteric love for The Ink Spots. I don't think many people know about them these days. I loved looking at their picture on the album cover when I was tiny, and grew to love their songs.
Thanks for the heads-up on the sort of designer Zafu question. I'll attend to it this week sometime, I promise.

Ted Bagley said...

When I was young sometimes I would look at the album covers when I listened to the music pretending I was watching the groups sing to me.

Lydia said...

@Ted- I wonder if I did that and don't remember. It sounds like a cool game!



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