Sad to hear of the death over the weekend of the lyricist Harold “Hal” David (25.05.1921 – 01.09.2012) who along with his music writing partner Burt Bacharach penned some of the most memorable and truly wonderful songs of the last 5o years or so…
A native New Yorker, David met Bacharach at the Brill Building in New York which at the time was at the heart of the American songwriting industry and where duo’s of young men (and they were all young men) spent hours on end in rooms no wider than a piano, churning out the hits, trying to out do each other with their compositions….
To list out all the tunes and words that have worked themselves deep into your subconscious would take the rest of this blog, and anyway you can find them all here on David’s his own website.. a phenomenally impressive list.
But it’s “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” that will always be my favourite. The only song I’ve ever sung at a Karaoke night. A truly wonderful song that I have loved since I was a child, but which sadly, me and my friend Richy M managed to murder almost beyond recognition…
And just to remind you how good Hal David was at lyrics, here’s the rise and fall of an aspiring actor’s career in fickle Hollywood over six perfect lines.. genius indeed..
L.A. is a great big freeway.
Put a hundred down and buy a car.
In a week maybe two, they’ll make you a star
The weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas…