Love in Old Savannah

from by Meow Stars

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The verses in turn, tell of some of the things which Savannah is best known, such as the live oaks drizzled in Spanish moss, the quaint cobbled streets, the ‘Bird Girl’ statue (originally situated in Bonaventure Cemetery and made famous by the book ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ by John Berendt.) the colorful azaleas, historic squares, subtropical climate and Tybee Island, the ‘Savannah Beach’. However, unlike the usual tourist blurb, the song uses its poetic license and imagination of the lovers themselves to bring these to life - with talking birds, singing trees, enchanted statues and even a smiling moon… because quite obviously ‘there’s magic everywhere, when love is in the air – in Old Savannah!’

The chorus sets the scene of pleasant evenings of music, dancing and romance, while paying homage to some of Savannah’s greatest historic origins. The suggestion of the ‘Jazz Man’ playing the ‘Old Joanna’ refers to the early New Orleans Jazz movement which spread rapidly across the coast and is often associated tomochichi with Southern charm. The ‘Old Joanna’ is a well known and somewhat romantic British nickname for a Piano, in particular one situated in a bar or club and used by various entertainers for sing-a-longs. Originating from the London / Cockney rhyming slang ‘Piana’, Old Joanna is intended as a quirky ‘Britism’ to reference the British Colonial origins of Savannah. And also a toast to Tomochichi, the seventeenth-century creek leader and the head chief of the Yamacraw town on the site of present day Savannah, who gave his land to British settlers in 1733, led by General James Oglethorpe, to build the city of Savannah while mediating between the native population and the new English settlers and remains a prominent character of early Georgia history.

The song purposely makes no reference to gender, origins or even the species of the lovers in question, because like Savannah itself, it offers a warm welcome to a colorful array of characters from both fact and fiction, and is designed to be experienced and sung by lovers one and all, as they ‘fall in love - in Old Savannah!’

lyrics

Well there’s a place I know
Where the oak trees grow
Way down in Georgia
A place where lovers meet
To stroll the cobbled streets
Like those before ya
And the songbirds sing
For all the ‘Bird Girl’ brings
“Hasta Mañana”
Each day her love she sends
Tomorrow never ends
In Old Savannah


Then the music strikes up
And the Jazz man plays the ‘Old Joanna’
“To Tomochichi” we say as we dance and sway
In Old Savannah
And when the sun goes down
There’s magic all around our sweet cabana
And all the stars above shine as we fall in love
In Old Savannah


Our senses come alive
The moment we arrive
It’s scintillating
Sweet perfume fills the air
From the azaleas there
Intoxicating
That warm and gentle breeze
Sweeping across Tybee
So ‘Tropicana’
And I can taste romance
As we begin to dance
In Old Savannah


The moon, she is smiling down on us tonight from above
And the trees, they are singing “goodnight” serenading our love
The Spanish moss calls to the Bird Girl “Hasta Mañana”
There’s magic everywhere
When love is in the air
In Old Savannah
Then the music strikes up
And the Jazz man plays the ‘Old Joanna’
“To Tomochichi” we say as we dance and sway
Down in Savannah
And when the sun goes down
There’s magic all around our sweet cabana
And all the stars above shine as we fall in love
In Old Savannah


We saunter through the squares
Historic treasures rare
To be discovered
Enchanting atmosphere
Ever prevailing here
Perfect for lovers
The beauty and the balm
With elegance and charm
Americana
And with you close to me
No place I’d rather be
Than Old Savannah


Then the music strikes up
And the Jazz man plays the ‘Old Joanna’
“To Tomochichi” we say as we dance and sway
Down in Savannah
And when the sun goes down
There’s magic all around our sweet cabana
And all the stars above shine as we fall in love
In Old Savannah

credits

from Meow Stars, released March 23, 2014
© Graham Hunter 2015

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