Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lifting Me Higher: Guy Mitchell: "Cloud Lucky Seven"

Let us stop for a moment, dear reader, to look back to 1953. I say this not just because, having gotten our feet wet in the beginning of 1960 (we are currently just in June, about to jump straight into summer) things are starting to look...different around here, but apparently I missed a number two. (According to the big book at home I did, and I always go by it.) It is salutary, however, to pause here and see how far we have come.

And in the Christmas of '53 charts, who but Guy Mitchell is there, warm smiling Guy, extolling the various levels - dare I say chakras? - of love. The whole setting is one of joy (it's never just Guy, he always has a chorus) and a vivid sense of love being one exaltation after another, until cloud seven is reached, where you and your loved one are walking on air (after having passed through the other six (five and six is when "your heart bumps and kicks"; I am guessing that the heart leaps and bounds at seven, but he doesn't say). The communal joy of "When you're in love, when you're in love, when you're in love" is simple, even a bit homespun, but has (like the previous song) a certain unmistakable truth. At first you feel like singing, then you hear bells ringing (and yes, bells do ring when you are in love, and they keep ringing, trust me). The utter strangeness of love - and I mean how it can just happen - is introduced before any of these levels with the heartily sung "There's no way that you can detect it/It can happen when you least expect it." In fact I would argue that just about anything worth experiencing is, paradoxically, undetectable and unpredictable. There is no way of knowing, nod Guy and his pals, and before you know it you and your lad/lass will be near heaven as two people can be.

What a contrast to the growing...sophistication we are seeing already, and the other worldliness of, say, I Hear A New World by Joe Meek, out in May of 1960 as an EP, a work pretty much unthinkable in '53. More leaps and bounds of the heart and technology are to come, dear reader, but I think I have finally done with the 50s...for now...

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