|Image: "Lost in the Stars" from Day To Be You|
While the other songs on How To Fail Properly are musically pretty far from Weill, am I crazy to hear Anderson in the lyrics? Just the titles "The Cataclysmic Bliss Will Be Grand as We Burn into Oblivion", "The Proper Way To Fail" and "Sucktown Usa" seem like reworkings of "Lost in the Stars". They all seem to say: Life is hard, perhaps even futile; there is no god taking care of us; still, we persevere. I don't know if Skulk (a.k.a. my friend Steve Pasieka) has ever even heard the Anderson/Weill song "Lost in the Stars" much less intended to reference it. I suppose I could ask him since we are, well, friends, but it doesn't really matter to me. What's matters is that I heard it.
So, after listening to How To Fail Properly, I've spent more than a little time listening to "Lost in the Stars". There are many great recordings to choose from including the original Broadway version by Todd Duncan, the achingly sad version by Judy Garland (from the album White Christmas With Judy Garland which also includes the heartbreaking "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"--way to spread the holiday cheer, Judy!), Martin Gore, Abby Lincoln, Nils Landgren, and of course Lotte Lenya. My favorite, though, is the one that made me fall in love with the song, Elvis Costello and The Brodsky Quartet from September Songs, a beautiful album of the music of Kurt Weill.