Walter Lord bA Hour Of Pretty Musicb

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Susan L. Romanyuk

In the American Heritage Magazine for May 2003 on page 16 is a really nice article on Walter Lord. It was a surprise to me to find out that Walter was a huge music fan. The article went on to mention that Walter wrote the lyrics for 'The Third Man' theme for the Orson Welles movie. And this was a song that no one really knew had a lyric.

Here is a sampling from the article: "I wouldn't want any funeral. But, I wouldn't mind a memorial service featuring the kind of music I've enjoyed so much--just an hour of pretty music in the 1930s-50s fashion....The perfect place would be a small room in the Princeton Club, around noon, perhaps in the period around my birthday, October 8."

And October 8 last year his friends gave Walter his final goodbye and last wish........An hour of pretty music in the Princeton Club.

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
I recall a lyric for the Third Man theme that went something like this.

It's the zither melody,
Everywhere you go, they play.
Very very soon
This fascinating tune
Will steal your heart away.
Once you've heard the sweet refrain
It will run around your brain.
No, you can't resist
The zither melody!

Don't ask who the performer (or perpetrator) was. It had a certain currency as a pop song many moons ago. Is Walter Lord to blame?
Feb 24, 2004
A considerable improvement, IMHO!

Back then, most popular songs were furnished with lyrics, whether they were ever meant to be sung or not. By and large, they were doggerel, but every once in a while there was a winner. Victor Young's main theme from "Around the World in 80 Days" received considerable air time as "Around The World":

"Around the world I searched for you
I traveled on
when hope was gone
to keep a rendez-vous, etc."

It had absolutely nothing to do with the film and was never sung once during the almost-3 hour running time, but man, was it popular.

Aug 29, 2000
Walter was a Renaissance man in every sense of the word, and collected political campaign memorabilia, antique valentines, ball park and amusement park ephemera among a few things.His apartment walls were lined with old LP's, some of them the glass Victrola RCA records. In his last days, a friend came over to play some of Walter's favorite tunes on piano, and later, at the most memorable memorial service I have ever attended. "Brother can you spare a dime" was his favorite, and in his prime, Walter could croon!

sharon rutman

Yup--those were the good old days! Walter's place was a museum to Americana. i haven't been near Walter's apartment building since he passed away--I just can't bring myself to do it. It's a good thing I'm taking a Master's degree at Brooklyn College instead of Hunter College which is right across the street from Walter's. The pain would have unbearable.
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