'Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences'

From Sex and the City to Madeleine Peyroux, via ‘Moon River’

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On a random personal note; I’ve recently moved out of my family home and in to my own house and was surprised and a little perturbed to discover several good habits that I appear to be developing. Gone are the days were I was quite comfortable having never touched a Flash wipe or indeed the bin on collection day; now I delight in such menial tasks! I feel a certain pride being the queen of my own modest castle, but alas, with great power comes great responsibility and it would also appear that I don’t seem to have a lot of the latter, particularly when it comes to ‘Sex and the City‘ re-runs on Comedy Central. I may have seen these episodes thrice times over at least, yet I cannot miss that double bill at 11:30 pm and I think my boss would agree that the subsequent 1:00 am naptimes are starting to affect my timekeeping…though said naptimes are often translated in to more appropriate work-speak, such as “traffic“, or “non-televised motorway pile-up.”

One just such memorable episode was aired last week; Season 4 Episode 18, ‘I Heart NY.’

I had never seen this particular episode before and I think it would be fair to describe it as a significant turning point or realisation in the previously rocky relationship of Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big. Big announces that he’s leaving New York the next day to move to California and proceeds to play an old vinyl of ‘Moon River‘; the song his parents used to play before they went out on the town. He highlights the lyric, “two drifters, off to see the world” and in that moment, it becomes clear that the inclusion of the song in this episode is rather poignant; Carrie and Big are the drifters, currently on different paths yet destined to remain interlinked. I’ve always loved ‘Moon River‘ for its magical and mood-elavating properties, in fact most of the tracks that I feel a particular connection with share these attributes; I might relate them to a specific stage in my childhood (‘Michelle‘ by The Beatles and Sundays at my Nan’s house), or perhaps a memorable family film (‘Summer Holiday‘ by Cliff Richard and the Hanveys all sat around enjoying the sunny exploits of Don, Barbara and the gang), either way the song strikes a chord and induces emotion.

An artist with the capability to do this, without so much as stepping foot on to a London Bus, is Madeleine Peyroux.

Peyroux is a French-American singer-songwriter, with an unquestionable talent for Jazz and Blues. She is often compared to Billie Holiday and the similarities are quite striking, I have to agree. Releasing her first album ‘Dreamland‘ in 1996, Peyroux gained widespread attention and rave reviews; surprising many therefore, when she decided to take a step out of the spotlight and busk for the next six years around Paris…oh the romance and bohemia of it all! The first video that I have linked to here is for ‘This is Heaven to Me.’

Building quite a following in and around Paris, Peyroux went on to release a further three solo albums, ‘Careless Love‘ (2004), ‘Half the Perfect World‘ (2006) and ‘Bare Bones‘ (2009). ‘Standin’ On The Rooftop‘ is her soon to be released fifth solo album (June 7th, 2011) on Decca Records. To coincide with the album’s release, Peyroux will be performing a selection of live shows in the UK, including:

May 4th, 2011 – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (

For me, Peyroux’s voice echoes all the fragility and wonder of Hepburn’s on ‘Moon River‘; and on ‘The Summer Wind‘ (linked above), I can just picture Carrie and Big on that buggyride through Central Park, both aware of the romance and importance of it all, yet both unable to acknowledge it for their own reasons.

As long as there is music like this being made by such captivating artists as Madeleine Peyroux, some people will settle down, some people will settle, but I will refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.


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