Paradise can been found in a book store, on the highway, anywhere the wind blows and the music plays. Here are five songs to lead you away from fluorescent lights and computer screens and back to the shady grove...
1.'The Midnight Sun' Ella Fitzgerald
"Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice warmer than the summer night...."
The entire world pours out of this song like diamonds falling from a crystal wine glass until you can't tell if it's music playing or a bird singing. Is it your lover's arms around you or the sky turning silver? Johnny Mercer was inspired to write these gorgeous words to Lionel Hampton's instrumental when he heard it playing on his car radio while driving the California freeway.
2.'Twilight Time' The Platters
"Heavenly shades of night are falling..."
Love is a swirl of deepening purple shadows that surround you like velvet curtains. This is the kind of kiss that can¹t be felt in daylight. It's the kiss of night herself, brushing your lips like a black rose. Words by Buck Ram (who also wrote the lyrics to 'The Great Pretender' while in the washroom of the Flamingo Hotel) and music by The Three Suns (Morty and Al Nevins with Artie Dunn).
3.'Stardust' Hoagy Carmichael
Written in the Book Nook, a bookshop in Indiana, on an old upright piano, Carmichael's song flies far away from dusty bookshelves to the ocean of stars. Here, in the shimmering clouds, the nightingale forged the first red rose out of moonlight and heart¹s-blood and true love.
4.'Wild is the Wind' Nina Simone
Written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington. A song of desperate love that's so vast it forms its own weather system. A soft breeze transforms the world into a whirling forest of desire where every leaf is a kiss. "Let the wind blow through your heart."
5.'Whispering Grass (Don't Tell the Trees)' The Ink Spots
Written by father and daughter, Fred and Doris Fisher. What secret does the grass whisper? Why are the trees listening even though they're buried under snow? Every bird and bee and leaf and grass blade is awakened by one single kiss in a meadow.
The Handsome Family's new album, Honey Moon, is out now.