Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Words by Beverly Kenney"

. . .and music by Ray Passman, copyright 1963* Kips Bay Music

"I Don't Believe in Love"

Don't tell me that the robins sing any sweeter in Spring than in Fall
I never hear their song at all 'cause I don't believe in love
Don't sell me on the sound of the sea or the pound of waves on the shore,
for my ears are deaf to the roar 'cause I don't believe in love
I've yet to feel the soft caress of a breeze upon my cheek,
the perfume of roses, or the lilacs at their peak
Please don't insist that a lover's kiss can be warm as the hot sun above
'cause I've been deceived, so I don't believe, no, I don't believe in love!

*This was sent to me by Ray Passman, a record producer, songwriter---co-lyricist w. Herb Wasserman on Sonny Rollins' St. Thomas, Haven't We Me. Also, he can be seen reminiscing about the biographical subject of Raymond DeFelitta's new documentary'Tis Autumn: The Seach for Jackie Paris.

"Don't Believe" was published in 1963, three years after Kenney's death in 1960 at age 28. I'm guessing, then, that the music might have been added posthumously. Kenney also wrote or co-wrote at least one other song that I'm aware of, I Hate Rock and Roll, which she is believed to have sung on a Steve Allen Show. Presumably under the influence of a circle of Greenwich Village writers with whom the singer associated, she also was a budding poet. Here's one effort, reprinted from Jonathan Schwartz' 11/92 GQ magazine profile of Kenney:

On Cesarean Birth

I curled my body small
in hiding
to escape the view
of those who sought to start the
of waters long since overdue.
And watched in horror
Cautious silver
part the roof of my Capri,
and heard the cry of anguished
The first of many wrought from