The centennial year of one more music icon has actually arrived. In celebrating the one hundredth birthdays of our musical forbears (as has actually come to be rather vogue in recent years), we pay one-of-a-kind tribute to the catalogs of recordings, original functions, and affluent performances each has left as a tradition. This past week we celebrated the centennial birthday of Amerideserve to music pioneer

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" data-original-title="" title="">Peggy Lee. As intricately comprehensive in my forthcoming book Peggy Lee: A Century of Song, Lee"s prolific tradition had 1100 taped masters, over 270 original songs, film scores, voiceover job-related, a Broadway present, radio and also tv shows, thirteen Grammy nomicountries, one Grammy win, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and 2 Hall of Fame awards (for "Fever" and also "Is That All There Is?") plus a hold of pop hits, many type of which she co-created. "I Don"t Know Enough About You" represented an early teamwork in between guitarist Dave Barbour and his young bride Peggy Lee. It was the initially of many hit songs the songwriting team inevitably penned. The song ended up being a hit in 1946, peaking at number seven on the popular music charts. It is one of a number of superior recordings featured on a brand-new compilation album simply released last month to celebprice the artist"s centennial, Ultimate Peggy Lee.


The melody of this tricky tune is deceivingly complex, opening with a chromatic scale rocking ago and forth among its pitches in a pattern of steadily climbing eighth notes as if to throw an insecure singer off the track prior to they have a possibility to obtain into a groove. Hardest of all, the chromatically ascending melody begins on the #11—not also a chord tone! The second expression of A begins through a leap upward (minor 6th) from the finish of the last phrase, rocks downward by action, and also jumps dvery own a fourth, transposes the previous two-bar phrase"s first bar down an octave (in m. 5) as if trying to obtain a love interest"s attention from various perspectives...melodically both over and also below..., coming earlier upward to the third scale degree prior to leaping down another sixth to the fifth scale degree which ascends a action and also leaps by a third to the tonic for a brief cadential suggest. The melody easily pays homage to the blues by emphasizing the flat 3rd over the tonic chord a couple of times prior to landing on the second scale level...which ends the initially A section. The second A mimics the initially till the last two bars wbelow the melody walks nonchalantly up the significant range from the leading to the mediant. It then jumps downward by thirds and also back as much as end on the tonic pitch. At the bridge of the song, the melody becomes noticeably easier, starting on the mediant and also playing via the chromatic next-door neighbors on either side. This pattern is repeated once prior to presenting a new melodic sub-phrase walking from range degrees 1-3-4-5-4-3-1, relaxing on a totality note at bar 20. The second phrase of B (at m. 21) creates a new tonal facility around V7/V, and also the melody clearly reinpressures this new facility by starting on that new tonicized pitch and also leaping dvery own and rocking in between its 6th and also fifth range levels prior to leaping upward to begin the pattern aacquire. The melody below is largely stepwise or relocating by thirds, simplifying the melody to create stability roughly the unstable harmonic shifts happening listed below. The final two-bar sub-expression of the bridge (mm. 23-24) resembles the last 2 bars of its initially four-bar phrase (mm. 19-20) in that the later on sub-expression has a comparable contour one totality action dvery own in the guise of a sequence, however not similar sufficient to be considered such. Barbour and also Lee likewise play through rhythm throughout the item in beginning the A phrases via 3 chromatically complex eighth note pickups, while firmly announcing the bridge with a lyrical expression starting on beat one.


In comparison to the melodic intricacy requiring uta lot of pitch accuracy to accurately perdevelop the opening phrases, the harmony of this song remains simple. The harmonic rhythm remains at the level of a totality note for a lot of of the A sections, transforming at the downbeat of each meacertain in order to administer a solid foundation upon which a singer or important melody player can lean. A ii-V7-I6 progression starts the piece, moving right into V7/ii-ii-V7-I to carry the music back around to the tonic in a straightforward rendering of the circle of fourths. The pattern repeats for the second eight bars (considering that this is in AABA form), finishing this time with a ii-V7-I cadential ending to carry out closure before the bridge. The B area transforms the harmonic rhythm to the level of 2 procedures per chord, taking the listener via another circle of fourths—aobtain starting on V7/vi (a leading chord developed the third scale level of the original tonic, jumping via the circle of fourths) and also relocating eexceptionally other bar to V7/ii, to V7/V (developed on the second range degree), and also V7 to complete the eight-bar bridge. The last A area is identical harmonically and also melodically to the second A, reiterating this strict AABA create.

Phrase Structure and also Rhyme Scheme

In composing lyrics, Peggy Lee was not tied to a couple of stock systems of rhyme system or expression structure. Her canon of original songs numbering over 270 exhibits a broad variety of both aspects of textual treatment. In this case Lee plays through rhyming in different places throughout the song. Words at the end of the initially four-bar expression rhymes through the word at the end of the following four-bar expression ("you" and also "do"). She likewise inserts an inner rhyme at "mine" and "line" in between steps 5 and 6, including to the textual interemainder. That more persistent pattern of rhyme continues in the opening phrase of the second A section in between bars 9-10 ("news" and "shoes") and 13-14 ("spin" and also "in), through the final words of phrases in bars 12 and 16 finishing with the exact same word "you" (not technically a rhyme, however obviously sounding the exact same, so eliciting the exact same impact as if a rhyme were present). At the bridge, Lee only rhymes the last words of each four-bar expression ("shame" and also "game"). The last A section assumes the very same rhyme plan as that of the second A area, using an inner rhyme in the initially two bars ("school" and also "fool") and also, as soon as aget, offers the very same word to finish both phrases ("you"). The song has an extensive coda with a brand-new melody having actually a rhyme plan and expression framework that reveal a diminution to two-bar phrases instead of the previous four. These novel features add a great deal of interest, during which the singer lists subjects she has studied in institution, coming back to the conceding statement that, even with all that understanding, she still knows also little bit about her love interemainder. She adds a spoken passage at the finish (prior to her final sung statement of the titular text) in a manner of 1940s "Rap." Guitarist John Chiodini as soon as referred to as Peggy Lee the initially Rap artist bereason of her tendency to insert spoken dialogue into her songs in this way.

Theme and Lyrics

While this song"s template may seem trite to the casual listener, it strikes me as being quite innovative in the sense that Lee finds a distinctive angle that had not been explored formerly to define a budding connection. Here is a person interested in getting to understand another person, and also proceeds to list points she knows something about, always finishing via the confession that she knows pititotally little bit about the one in whom she is so fascinated. Has he been evasive? Is he disinterested? She appears to define having actually trouble communicating via her targain audience: "I"m nobody"s fool...that is to say, till I met you." This "jack-of-all-trades" have the right to execute most things and knows a good deal, she brags, and yet is enduring some roadblocks in trying to comprehend the object of her desire. Lee"s prowess in finding roundaround methods to expush what many lesser songwriters just say outright is a leskid in imaginative communication and evocative language.


"I Don"t Know Enough About You" exhibits the balance I have actually defined in previously articles within this column in ways continuous via other gems of the Great Amerihave the right to Songbook. Complexity of melody is well balanced with simplicity of harmony in all A sections of the form. At the bridge the tables are turned; the harmony becomes less steady, circling amid briefly tonicized leading chords while the melody eases in its difficulty. Varying rhyme schemes and also an extended coda market the song a tinge of unpredictcapacity, mirroring the fact that the character singing cannot number out the person to whom she sings. Lee and also Barbour efficiently marry the music to the lyrics in creating melodic and also harmonic balance, unpredictcapability, and also clever before new ways to express sentiments that resonate universally. The video accompanying this article came from a collection of telescriptions (at an early stage music videos) Lee and also Barbour made in 1950 in cooperation via producer Lou Snader. These were used as individual song clips showing up on early on television as miniature short films featuring music stars, making Lee and also Barbour among the exceptionally first artists to develop music videos. More indevelopment around the nature and use of these telescriptions have the right to be uncovered in my book.

A Century of Song

With the centennial year of Peggy Lee simply beginning, I am thrilbrought about unveil this new book, Peggy Lee: A Century of Song (Rowmale & Littlefield), an comprehensive examicountry of Lee"s musical tradition, vocal advance, and artistic contributions in music, film, radio and tv. She became the longest-running female artist through consecutive contracts at Capitol Records spanning 23 years (not including 5 fabulous years at Decca in the time of which she recorded, among various other masters, a top-10 jazz vocal album of all time—Black Coffee). Her prolific recording output, fourteenager film collaborations, an Academy Award nomination for ideal supporting actress, an international performance tour schedule, and a number of radio/television reflects throughout her six-decade performing/recording career confirmed that she was not hidebound by singing just pop music, yet blazed trails in the blues, jazz, soft rock, Latin, symphonic, novelty, holiday, children"s song, film scoring, and easy listening genres in enhancement to big band also swing.

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Her initial participation with Dave Barbour on "I Don"t Know Enough About You" served as a fitting advent to Lee as a songwriter, properly announcing to the human being (as her first original hit) that, while they might not know her yet, they would certainly pertained to understand her exceptionally well over time.