20
Dec 03

This is my Last Cigarette- kd lang Secret Love- Doris Day

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 1,103 views

This is my Last Cigarette- kd lang
Secret Love- Doris Day

kd lang and Doris Day seem to be on the opposite end of things, one of them is a butch dyke who makes abstract concept albums and quotes Camus in her linear notes, one is a virginal blonde, always going after the wrong man.

Thinking back to Oscar Levants quip about Day (I knew her before she was a virgin), and hearing this song again, on the tails of kd langs 1997 collection Drag (think no fun, think cross dressing, think the power of addiction and love, think of all the theory and longing that is found in that monosyablle.), i think that we have underestimated both of them.

Doris Day dressed as a cow girl, and sang about hidden desires, in the middle of a fantasia that was supposed to be about nothing. Doris Day played the straight girl to butches and nellies in her masterful comedies (ironically it was the butch who was queer and the nelly who was straight). Doris Day slung her voice low, into a whispered conversation that nestled into intimacy. Doris Day could sing, she was always thought of as a bubble head, another blonde bimbo, with out the comic timing of Mansfield or the cosmic dread of Marilyn–but hear the desire seeping through the words here, how the whole thing becomes a psychosexual strip tease that ends with disclosure. She knew how to milk audience, she knew she couldn’t belt but she didn’t need to, she sung American chanson.

kd lang, started as a cowgirl, in her words “the reincarnation of Patsy Cline (this made sense, Patsy helped people–Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, and others, she was den mother in fur + feathers) but she moved on, she became our Chet Baker–in Drag, which is a concept album about how love is like smoking, and really just an excuse to sing all those songs from the 50s, she sings like Day, but more world weary. If Secret Love starts from prohibition and ends with permission–then Last Cigarette starts with vice and moves into virtue, its a secret love, and she knows it- the way she drags her tounge around the lines “Sometimes the things that you love in the night/The morning will choose to forget has a knowing, louche decadence that Day only suggests.

They should work as a pair, dawn and dusk, lust and love… I want kd to record Secret Love, it would be a circle completing itself, they move into a place where camp is found to be deathly serious.

Comments

  1. 1
    Frank Farm on 4 Feb 2009 #

    k.d. lang did record “Secret Love” but it seems you can hear it only while watching the credits of the film The Celluloid Closet (1995). Unfortunately, as of February 3, 2009, the recording does not yet seem to be available anywhere else.

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