A few days ago, Exile on the Wing left a link in the comments to the rediscovered CD on which Susan Boyle sings “Cry Me a River”.
If you’re not familiar with it, this was written for Julie London by a friend. Beginning in 1955 it became her signature song.
“Cry Me a River” has been a standard ever since. I think Marilyn Monroe also had a film version of “Cry” but I can’t find it. Diana Krall does a smoky, modern version, accompanying herself on the piano.
The version here was put up by the UK’s Daily Record.
They interviewed the man who made the charity CD on which Ms. Boyle appeared:
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It’s all a far cry from 1999, when Susan recorded her track for the charity compilation CD at Whitburn Academy, where X Factor winner Leon Jackson went to school.
The Millennium Celebration disc, which was partly funded by Whitburn Community Council, was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Eddie Anderson.
He launched a search for unsigned acts to take part. And as soon as he heard Susan at the auditions he knew he had found something special.
“I was amazed when she sang,” Eddie said. “It was probably the same reaction as everyone had last Saturday.
“Susan was exactly the same then as she is now. She has a fabulous
and unique talent.”
For a whacked-out version, here’s Joe Cocker.
As if you couldn’t tell, this is one of my favorite songs. Though there have been many interpretations, from Barbra Streisand in 1959 (very New York-ese at the age of 21. She later developed it into a ‘cooler’ nightclub version) through Ella Fitzgerald and on down the years to Ms. Krall. Among these, Susan Boyle still stands out. As near as I can tell, she listened carefully to Julie London’s version many times before metabolizing it and making it her own.
Boyle’s voice isn’t as sultry as the Julie London version I’m so familiar with. However, to my ear, Boyle has given the song more color and depth.
When we finally get a compilation of Ms. Boyle’s songs, they will no doubt be her own quite original renditions of old favorites. I hope she doesn’t stray too far from that genre.
“Cry Me a River” contains one of my all-time favorite lyric rhymes:
You told me I was too plebian,
You told me you were through with me an’
Now you say you want me…
Cole Porter never did it any better than that.