I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

A recurring theme of the pandemic lockdown is how hard it is to keep the days straight. The usual landmarks of work, school, and major events are absent. A Tuesday can feel much like a Saturday right now. So much for the title of this old movie:

Of course, today is Wednesday. I’m adrift in a timeless and tourist-less universe, y’all. Btw, I’d forgotten that a young Ian McShane was in the above movie as was Patricia Routledge who later played Hyancinth Bucket and Hetty Wainthrop. Enough teevee trivia…

In New Orleans, Jazz Fest 2020 has been cancelled outright but WWOZ-FM is running what it calls Festing In Place. It’s been great fun. The festivities resume tomorrow. Check it out at their web site. They’ve even replicated the legendary scheduling cubes.

Where the hell was I? Oh, yeah, today’s Songs From The Pandemic entry.  I guess I lost track of time. It happens daily…

I Didn’t Know What Time It Was was written by Duke Ellington’s peers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the 1939 musical Too Many Girls. It’s been recorded too many times to count or is that countless times? I’m easily confused nowadays. What day is it? What time is it?

I Didn’t Know What Time It Was is a haunting mid-tempo ballad with typically witty lyrics by Larry Hart:

I didn’t know what day it was
You held my hand
Warm, like the month of May it was
And I’ll say it was grand

May is on the way. I somehow doubt Hart foresaw a lockdown but, as I like to say, you never can tell.

We have four versions of this Rodgers and Hart classic by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Taylor and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with the great Wayne Shorter on saxophone.

Take your time and listen to them all. Btw, it’s Wednesday and we’re not in Belgium but some Belgian beer would be nice.

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