31 Days of Faves: Michael Bublé – Save the Last Dance for Me

#2 Michael Bublé – Save the Last Dance for Me

In the pantheon of would-be heirs to Frank Sinatra‘s legacy, two names contend, Harry Connick, Jr. and Michael Bublé. Nobody can replace “Old Blue Eyes”, but these two come close.

Whether in studio or with a big band backing them live, Connick, Jr. and Bublé deliver the goods. Their performance books span standards to the present day. The musical arrangements are first rate. And their vocal styling are a tribute to the fundamental phrasing and tonality that was a Sinatra trademark.

Michael’s rendition of the classic Doc Pomus / Mort Shuman composition, “Save the Last Dance for Me” holds a special place in my heart.

Our granddaughter was born with that magical extra chromosome that denotes Down syndrome. While some might see that as an impediment, Juliette has no idea that she any different from the rest of us. If anything, she may perceive that she’s a visitor from Venus, doing her best to understand the alien culture and language of earth. She’s taught us to have the same expectations but to understand that each of us may take, “the scenic route” to get there.

Save the Last Dance for Me” is our song. I’ve always loved the Bublé version, with it’s Latin flavor and full big band treatment. So when I was putting together a playlist for our weekly rides to her therapy sessions, it was number one in the rotation.

Jules took to it instantly. We created a combination of American Sign Language and her Venusian English that became a daily performance habit in the car, with the word “Me” always punctuated by her touching her nose with her finger.

When the Pandemic lockdown kept her at home from pre-school, Colleen and I split the weekdays as day-care providers for our sweet girl. At some point during every day we were together, Jules would point to the stereo system and then touch her nose, smiling and saying “Michael – Me”.

That was my queue to spin up the tune on the flat screen TV with the surround sound as loud as her parents could tolerate. My granddaughter raised her arms. I swept her into my own as the Latin opening began to play and we began to dance.

The pantomime at close range includes hugs when Michael sings “Can’t you feel it when we touch,” and “I love you oh so much.”  We twirl and spin in circles, in old school ballroom style during instrumental break in the middle and are singing at the top of our lungs as the final chorus repeats again and again, until Juliette throws her head back in anticipation of my tossing her onto the couch as the tune ends, laughing and saying, “again,” before I’ve had the chance to catch my breath.

As we’ve reviewed my 31 days of faves, the commonality all share is the life moments connected to them. We inject music into the most important scenes in films. We spin up a tune to augment our mood or perhaps lift us up when we are feeling down. It is a uniquely human experience, a gift of creation that God threw in with the mix, perhaps to augment another dimension unique to the higher forms of life: Our ability to feel.