People, along with Simply Streisand and Stoney End, is one of my favorite Streisand albums. If I could only keep three, it would be those. I’d miss some of the others, but these are ones that have prominent places in my history and consequently, I can’t imagine a world without them. One time when we were on the final leg of a fantastically long haul driving home from a vacation, I was crabby and annoyed with the world in general and Heidi put the CD in and before you could say “Hello gorgeous”, I was singing along with it and in a much better mood. Heidi knows now just to put that album on when I’m in a bad mood because it works wonders.
There are so many good songs on it and at 35 minutes, it doesn’t even begin to overstay its welcome. There’s “When In Rome (I Do As The Romans Do)” on which Babs warbles in Italian, “Autumn” which feels chilly just like the season and “How Does The Wine Taste?” with mysterious finger clickers and Barbra’s trademark overenunciated Ts – as in “how does the wine tasTe?”
But the song “Suppertime” has my attention these days. It was kind of a slow burn for me, not grabbing me like the other, more cleverly written songs. I’ve always loved Barbra’s early songs that were comical, and “Suppertime” is decidedly NOT funny. Two things that are notable about “Suppertime.”
1 – It comes from a 1933 musical As Thousands Cheer. This, in and of itself, is not surprising as the vast majority of songs that Streisand recorded during this time period were plucked from musicals or Broadway shows. What is surprising is that it is sung from the point of view of a woman who has just learned that her husband has been lynched.
2 – It contains the single most mournful saxophone I’ve ever heard. As if the beginning isn’t sad enough, just wait till you get to 55 seconds in.
That’s all I’ve got. I’ve been up since 5AM and have been home for about 60 minutes all day long. I’m lucky I got this much written.