Lucky

By saying that Molly Johnson knows all the other idioms of popular music today, one might nearly lose sight of the fact that she is a jazz singer. Here she is coming home again, with a dozen major standards: compositions by the greatest jazzmen, tunes from musical comedy that have become playing fields for the great voices, but also a few surprises which say quite a bit about the taste and the sense of humour of this beautiful Canadian woman of mixed race origins. Behind her, with her, around her, is her stage trio, which is now reaching the summits… to the point in fact that it plays four parts, since pianist Phil Dwyer also takes over the tenor saxophone. Let us follow her in her exploration of the most enchanted repertoire in jazz.

01 Lucky (2:40)
02 Ode to Billie Joe (5:24)
03 Solitude (4:11)
04 Whatever Lola Wants (3:16)
05 Lush Life (5:37)
06 Mean to Me (4:19)
07 April In Paris (4:11)
08 I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good (4:51)
09 It Ain’t Necessarily So (4:58)
10 Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You (4:39)
11 I Loves You Porgy (4:34)
12 If I Were a Bell (2:46)


Lyrics

LUCKY

(Molly Johnson, Steve MacKinnon) STEVEN MACKINNON MUSIC (ASCAP)/MOLLY JOHNSON MUSIC (SOCAN)

Feels sometimes like I’m just getting over
Then I lose my grip on my four leaf clover
And I catch a heel on a cobblestone
Feel a million miles away from home
But I’m loved. So Loved.

Ain’t nobody gonna take me down
When I catch my breath I’ll own this town
I wish everyone was as Lucky as I am

Walking in the rain
With my new stripped umbrella
Got my new boots on
Arm and Arm with my Fella
Don’t need a lucky rabbits foot
Dyed a pretty pink
You’ll always be here with me no matter swim or sink

Cause I’m loved. Loved.
Sunny skies are up ahead
I got Pots of Gold just round the bend
I wish everyone was as Lucky. As I Am.

Worries – Sure I Got ‘Em
Somedays – Life is rotten but there’s
No way – I hit the bottom
I see my baby smile
And I feel Lucky (Yes I Do!)

Horseshoes – well, you can have ‘em
Leprechauns just get in the way of the garden
You can cross my fingers
Cross my toes
Cross my heart there’s nothin’ close
When you’re loved
When you’re loved

Leave it as a mystery
‘cause you know I’m charmed as charmed can be
I wish everyone was Lucky
I wish everyone was Lucky
I wish the whole wide world was Lucky. As I Am.


ODE TO BILLIE JOE
(Bobbie Gentry) NORTHRIDGE MUSIC COMPANY (ASCAP)

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was balin’ hay
At dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door “y’all remember to wipe your feet”
And then she said “I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge”
“Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
“Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please”
“There’s five more acres in the lower forty… got to plow”
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister, jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn’t I talkin’ to him after Church last Sunday night?
“I’ll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don’t seem right”
“I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge”
“And now you tell me Billie Joe’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

And Mama said to me “Child, what’s happened to your appetite?”
“I’ve been cookin’ all morning… you haven’t touched a single bite”
“…Nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today”
“Said he’d be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way”
“He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge”
“And she and Billy Joe were throwing somethin’ off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

A year has come ‘n’ gone since we heard the news ’bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going ’round, Papa caught it… died last Spring
And now Mama doesn’t seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them in the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge, Yeah!
Ooh, the Tallahatchie Bridge
Oh, Muddy, Muddy, Water.
Off the Tallahatchie Bridge
Sleepy, Dusty, Delta Day
Tallahatchie Bridge


SOLITUDE
(Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Edgar De Lange)MI MILLS MUSIC INC/SCARSDALE MUSIC CO/SONY ATV HARMONY

In my solitude
You haunt me
With reveries
Of days gone by

In my solitude
You taunt me
With memories
That never die

I sit in my chair
Filled with despair
No one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere
I sit and I stare
Know that I’ll soon go so mad

In my solitude
I’m prayin’
Dear Lord above
Send back my love
I sit in my chair
Filled with despair

No one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere
I sit and I stare
Know that I’ll soon go so mad

In my solitude
I’m prayin’
Dear Lord above
Send back my love
Send back my
Send back my
Send back my love.


WHATEVER LOLA WANTS
(Richard Adler, Jerry Ross) J & J ROSS CO/LAKSHMI PUJA MUSIC LTD

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
And little man, little Lola wants you
Make up your mind to have
No regrets
Recline yourself
Resign yourself, you’re through

I always get, what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets
Take off your coat
Don’t you know that you can’t win
You’re no exception to the rule
I’m irresistible you fool .. so give in

I always get, what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
And little man, little Lola wants you
Make up your mind to have
No regrets
Recline yourself
Resign yourself, you’re through

I always get, what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets
Take off your coat
Don’t you know that you can’t win
You’re no exception to the rule
I’m irresistible you fool .. so give in
Give in
So… Give in
Yeah… Give in.


LUSH LIFE
BILLY STRAYHORN SONGS/CHERRY LANE MUSIC PUBLISHING

I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come what may places
Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life…
From jazz and cocktails.

The boys I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distant gay traces
That used to be there you could see where they’d been washed away
By too many through the day…
Those twelve o’clock tales.

Then you came along with your siren song
To tempt me to madness!
I thought for a while that your poignant smile was tinged with the sadness
Of a great love for me.

I was wrong…
Again,
I was so wrong.

Life is lonely again,
And only last year everything seemed so sure.
Now life is awful again,
A trough full of parts could only be a bore.
A week in Paris will ease the bite of it,
All I care is to smile in spite of it.

I’ll forget you, I will
While yet you are still burning inside my brain.
Romance is mush,
Stifling those who strive.
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive…
And there I’ll be, while I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely, too..

Romance is mush,
Stifling those who strive.
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive…
And there I’ll be, while I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely, too…


MEAN TO ME
(Fred Ahlert, Roy Turk) CROMWELL MUSIC INC/FRED AHLERT MUSIC CORPORATION/PENCIL MARK MUSIC INC

You’re mean to me
Why must you be mean to me?
Gee, honey, it seems to me
You love to see me cryin’
Don’t know why
I stay home each night
Say you’ll phone
You don’t and I’m left alone
Singin’ the blues I was cryin’
You treat me coldly each day of the year
And ya’ always scold me
Whenever somebody is near, dear
It must be
Great fun to be mean to me
Ya should’ve but can’t you see
What ! What! You mean to me.

You’re mean to me
Why must you be mean to me
Gee honey it seems to me
You love to see me cryin’
I don’t know why…

I stay home
Each night, say you’ll phone
Ya don’t and I’m left all alone
Singin’ the blues I was cryin’

You treat me coldly
Each day of the year
And you always scold me
Whenever somebody is near, dear

It must be
Great fun to be Mean to Me
Ya should’ve but can’t you see
What ! What! You mean to me.

Oh, ya Mean to Me!


APRIL IN PARIS
(Vernon Duke)

April in Paris
This is a feelin’
No one could ever, reprise

I never knew the charm of spring
Never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
Never missed a warm embrace

Till’… April in Paris, whom can I run to
What have you done to
My heart

April in Paris
Chestnuts in blossom
Holiday tables
Under the trees

April in Paris, this is a feeling
No one can ever reprise

I never knew the charm of Spring
Never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
Never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris
Whom can I run to
What have you done to my heart

April in Paris
What have you done to my heart?


I GOT IT BAD, AND THAT AINT GOOD
(Duke Ellington) SONY ATV HARMONY/WEBSTER MUSIC CO

Never treats me sweet and gentle
The way he should
I got it bad, and that ain’t good
My poor heart is sentimental
Not made of wood
I got it bad, and that ain’t good

But when the weekend’s over
And Monday rolls around
I end up like I start out
Just cryin’ my heart out
He don’t love me
Like I love him
Nobody could
I got it bad, and that ain’t good

Now folks with good intentions
Tell me to save my tears
I’m glad I’m mad about him
I can’t live without him
Lord above me,
Make him love me
The way he should
I got it bad, and that ain’t good
I got it bad yeah! And that ain’t good.


IT AINT NECESSARILY SO
(George Gershwin) GERSHWIN PUBLISHING CORP/WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC INC .

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so
The things that yo’ liable to read in the Bible
It ain’t necessarily so

Li’l David was small but oh my
Li’l David was small but oh my
He fought big Goliath who lay down and die-eth
Li’l David was small but oh my

Oh Jonah he lived in a whale
Oh Jonah he lived in a whale
For he made his home in dat fish’s abdomen
Oh Jonah he lived in a whale

Li’l Moses was found in a stream
Li’l Moses was found in a stream
He floated on water ’til ole Pharaoh’s daughter
She fished him she says from that stream

It ain’t necessarily so
Ain’t necessarily so!
Dey tell all you chillun that debble’s a villain
But ain’t necessarily so

Methus’lah lived nine hundred years
Methus’lah lived nine hundred years
But who calls dat livin’ when no gal’ll give in
To no man whose nine hundred years

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so


GEE BABY, AINT I GOOD TO YOU
(Don Redman, Andy Razaf) EDWIN H MORRIS & CO INC

Love makes me treat ya’ the way that I do,
Gee baby, ain’t I good to you?
There’s nothing too good
For a boy that’s so true
Gee baby, ain’t I good to you?

Bought you a fur coat for Christmas,
A diamond ring,
A big Cadillac car, and everything.
Love makes me treat you the way that I do
Gee baby, ain’t I good to you?
Gee baby, ain’t I good to you.

Bought you a fur coat for Christmas,
A diamond ring,
A big Cadillac car, and everything.
Love makes me treat you the way that I do
Gee baby, ain’t I good to you?
Gee baby, Gee baby
Gee baby, ain’t I good ain’t I good, to you!


I LOVES YOU PORGY
(George Gershwin) GERSHWIN PUBLISHING CORP/WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC INC

I wanna’ stay here
But I ain’t worthy
You are too descent
To understand

For when I see him
He hypnotize me
When he takes hold of me
With his hot hands

Someday I know he’s coming back
To call me
He’s gonna’ handle me
And hold me so

It’s gonna’ be like dyin’
Porgy, deep inside me
But when he calls
I know I have to go

I loves ya, Porgy,
Don’t let him take me
Don’t let him handle me
And drive me mad

If you can keep me
I wanna’ stay here with you forever
And I’ll be glad

Someday he’s comin’ back
To call me
He’s gonna’ handle me
And hold me so
It’s gonna’ be like dyin’
Porgy, deep inside me
But when he calls
I know I have to go

I loves you, Porgy,
Don’t let him take me
Don’t let him handle me
With his hot hands
If you can keep me
I wanna’ stay here with you forever
I’ve got my man!


IF I WERE A BELL
(Frank Loesser) FRANK MUSIC CORP/EDWIN H MORRIS & CO INC

Ask me…how do I feel,
Ask me now that we’re cosy and clinging!
Well, sir, all I can say
Is if I were a bell I’d be ringing !

From the moment we kissed goodnight
That’s the way I just got to behave
Boy, if I were a lamp I’d light!
And if I were a banner I’d wave

Ask me how do I feel
Little me with my quiet upbringing
Well, sir, all I can say
Is if I were a gate I’d be swinging !

And if I were a watch I’d start
Popping my spring…
Oh, if I were a bell
I’d go ding-dong-ding-dong-ding

Ask me how do I feel
From this chemistry lesson I’m learnin’
Yeah, chemistry!
Well, sir, all I can say
Is if I were a bridge I’d be burning

Well, I knew my moral would crack
From the wonderful way that you look
Boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!
Or if I were a goose I’d be cooked!

Ask me how do I feel
Ask me now that we’re fondly caressing
Well, if I were a salad
I know I’d be splashing my dressing

Ask me how to describe
This whole beautiful thang’
Well, if I were a bell
I’d go ding-dong-ding-dong-ding
Ding-dong-ding-dong
Ding-dong-ding-dong

If I, Were A Bell


Credits

MUSICIANS:

Molly Johnson: Vocals
Mark McLean: Drums, Percussion, and Glockenspiel
Mike Downes: Bass
Phil Dwyer: Piano, Tenor Saxophone
Ben Riley: Drums (on Solitude, Lush Life, and Mean to Me)

Mark McLean plays Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals & sticks and Regal Tip brushes and mallets exclusively

ARRANGEMENTS

I Got it Bad, and that Ain’t Good, I Loves You Porgy, April in Paris, Mean to Me, and My Baby Just Cares For Me: Mike Downes
If I Were A Bell, Whatever Lola Wants, Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You, and It Ain’t Necessarily So: Mark McLean
I’ll Never Smile Again, Ode to Billie Joe, Lucky, and Willow Weep For Me: Phil Dwyer
*Additional Arrangements by the Trio

Recorded by: John ‘Beetle’ Bailey at Studio 211 of CBC Studios in Toronto, Canada
Recording dates: June 3rd – 7th, 2008
Assisted by: Dennis Patterson and his fine crew, Chris Jackson, Adam Tune, Alain Derbez and Steve Sweeney
Mixed by: John ‘Beetle’ Bailey at The Drive Shed Recording Studios in Toronto, Canada – August, 2008
Additional digital editing and assistance by: Mat Pataki

Produced by: Scott Morin and the Trio
Co-Produced by: John ‘Beetle’ Bailey
Recorded and Mixed by: John “Beetle” Bailey
Executive Producer: Scott Morin for A440 Entertainment, Inc.
Mastered by: Tom Coyne at Sterling Sound, New York, USA
Piano Technician: Wayne Chen
Drum Cartage: Rob Ball (Groove Moves)
Microphone Rentals: Doug Walker (Walker Microphones)

A&R Coordination: Susan Brearton
Photography: George Whiteside
Album Design: Barilla Design
Make-Up: Jody Daye
Wardrobe: Nicholas Melamphy for Hazeltoronto.com

We acknowledge the financial support of Canada’s private radio broadcasters as well as the Government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund for this project.

Thanks to the Trio – Phil D, Mike D, and Mark M. for truly inspired playing and some wonderful arrangements. To Ben Riley for “singing” and playing so sweet. To John “Beetle” Bailey for his great ears. Thank-you to the CBC crew at Studio 211 including Mike Carroll, Dennis Patterson, Chris, Adam and Alain. Thank-you to Scott Morin, Richard Yanofsky, and the team at A440. Thanks to Randy Lennox, Jody Shivdasani, Shawn Marino, Sarah Scott, Steve Teixeira, Wesley Hayden, Stephen Gash, Tyson Parker, Mima Agozzino, Susan Brearton, Andrew Patton, Carol Wright, and my friends at Universal Canada. Merci à Universal France pour avoir participé à ma grande succès. Un grand remerciment à Yann Ollivier, Isabelle Marnier, Alexandra Bannelier, Antoine Sazio, et Marie-Claude Nouy. Merci aussi à Vero Croisile de Factory Music et co. pour la continuation de ma carrière musicale en France. Et merci à Jacques pour Billie Joe! Thanks to Wulf Muller, Dickon Stainer, and the folks at UCJ in the UK. Thank you so much to Richard Mills at Feldman for everything you have done for me. Thank-you to SRO/Anthem for helping push this thru, to Carolyn Victoria Mill for all u do, and to Terry Queeley, my man on the ground!

'