Song Lyric Sunday: “Piano In The Dark” and “Corcovado”

Sometimes, they’re so easy it presents a real problem. Jim’s prompt for this week is "Songs that mention a musical instrument." Two songs immediately came to mind, and both of them demanded to be featured. So, here you go.

The first is Brenda Russell’s "Piano In The Dark." I used to hear this on "smooth jazz" radio all the time, but never realized that it was recorded all the way back in 1988 for Brenda’s fourth album on A&M Records, Get Here. Brenda wrote it with Jeff Hull and Scott Cutler. Background vocals are provided by Joe Esposito, who sounds an awful lot like Michael McDonald.

Lyrics courtesy of Lyrics.com:

When I find myself watching the time
I never think about all the funny things you said
I feel like it’s dead
Where is it leading me now

I turn around in the still of the room
Knowing this is when I’m gonna make my move
Can’t wait any longer
And I’m feeling stronger but oh

Just as I walk through the door
I can feel your emotion
It’s pullin’ me back
Back to love you

I know I’m caught up in the middle
I cry just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no, gave up on the riddle
I cry just a little
When he plays piano in the dark

He holds me close like a thief of the heart
He plays a melody
Born to tear me all apart
The silence is broken
And no words are spoken but oh

Just as I walk through the door
I can feel your emotion
It’s pullin’ me back
Back to love you

I know I’m caught up in the middle
I cry just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no, gave up on the riddle
I cry just a little
When he plays piano in the dark

My second song is the bossa nova classic, "Corcovado," also known as "Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars." Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, with English lyrics (a more or less literal translation of the original Portuguese lyrics) by Gene Lees. It appeared on the groundbreaking bossa nova album, 1963’s Getz/Gilberto, sung in English by the lovely Astrud Gilberto. Corcovado, incidentally, is the mountain in the middle of Rio De Janiero upon which stands the statue "Christ The Redeemer."

The lyrics, from Lyrics Translate:

Quiet nights of quiet stars,
quiet chords from my guitar,
floating on the silence that surrounds us.

Quiet thoughts and quiet dreams,
quiet walks by quiet streams
and a window that looks out on Corcovado,
oh how lovely.

This is where I want to be
here with you so close to me
until the final flicker of life’s embers.

I, who was lost and lonely
believing life was only
a bitter tragic joke
I found with you
the meaning of existence,
oh my love

I, who was lost and lonely
believing life was only
a bitter tragic joke
I found with you
the meaning of existence,
oh my love.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for March 13, 2022.

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “Piano In The Dark” and “Corcovado”

  1. I enjoyed both songs. The first one I never heard before but it is pleasing. My heart belongs to the second song which is a classic.

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    1. I think it’s great that bossa nova has maintained its appeal sixty years after the initial craze. It’s easy to listen to in a lounge setting…

      Brenda Russell does have a pleasing voice, and I like the feel she gives “Piano in the Dark.” The intensity shifts at the right time…

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    1. Glad you liked them! I’m actually not surprised you hadn’t heard either. There aren’t that many outlets that play it on a regular basis.

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