While Porter never hinted other than obliquely in his work at any gnawing dissatisfaction with the glamorous life he led, his best ballads are self-evidently the work of a man consumed by the need for physical passion (“Night and day under the hide of me / There’s an, oh, such a hungry yearning burning inside of me”) and haunted by the dream of romantic longing (“You’d be so nice, you’d be paradise / To come home to and love”). Stephen Sondheim was surely on to something when he observed that “Porter’s characters were all aspects of Cole Porter, or at least his public image: the worldly cosmopolitan with an aching heart.” Broadway has never had a wittier songwriter or one capable of deeper feeling, and the songs he left behind stand as a permanent monument to his inspired craftsmanship.
Friday, November 20, 2020
… Cole, Cole Heart - Terry Teachout, Commentary Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)