Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Exactly the same, except different

Ever since the first time I caught the Discovery Channel's "Boom-de-yada" commercial (or, if you prefer, Mike Rowe, et al. singing it live), I've been bugged by the thought that it sounded like the tune for "I Love the Mountains" (the song's actual name) was really just one of the variations I've heard on "Heart & Soul". (Or as I originally earned the lyrics, "God's not dead, he's still ali-i-ive")

Today, I decided to look up sheet music for each song. (And in the process learned that "Heart & Soul" was written by Hoagy Carmichael, with lyrics by Frank Loesser, for the 1938 Paramount short, "A Song is Born"--not to be confused with the feature-length 1948 RKO movie of the same title that starred Danny Kaye.)

And as it turns out, I was both right and wrong; mostly the latter. The two songs definitely have separate origins, but use the same chord progression (I-vi-IV-V or I-vi-ii7-V, for you music wonks out there), both "swing" their eighth notes (two eighths become a dotted eighth and a sixteenth), and, as a result, the "simple" piano accompaniment for Heart & Soul--the second piano song most people learn to play, after "Chopsticks"--is, for all intents and purposes, the basic accompaniment for "I Love the Mountains". I wouldn't be surprised if people often toss in a verse or two of "I Love the Mountains" while repeating Heart & Soul ad nauseum, just to vary things a bit, which would explain why I had the two mixed up in my head. (It looks like the melody for one can even work as a harmony/descant for the other.)

For reference, here's easy sheet music for:
Heart & Soul (for piano/voice, with more songs here)
I Love the Mountains (for voice/guitar, with more songs here)

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: commercials, music

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