Rhyming Albuquerque

This morning I’m flying to Albuquerque on my way to St. John’s College in Santa Fe to study Montaigne’s “Apology for Raymond Sebond” next week. It’s the longest essay in Montaigne’s Essays, by far. I hope to deepen my understanding of this difficult essay over the next week. At the moment I will only say that Montaigne is a most humane and companionable writer. We have much to learn from him. Of that much I am certain.

My trip this morning prompts a musical question. Have you ever heard “Albuquerque” rhymed in a song? Trying to write it out now, I discover I don’t even know how to spell Albuquerque. Bobby Troup — the man who wrote “Route 66” — also gave us “Hungry Man” (lyrics posted here). I love this song. The rhymes are irresistible. Here it is by the great Louis Jordan.

Here it is by Troup himself (Dorothy Malone is the beautiful woman). Come for the song, stay to watch Dorothy dance.

Here is a later recording of Troup singing the song backed by Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass) and Grady Tate (drums).

I first heard this song on John Pizzarelli’s weekly Radio Deluxe show with Jessica Molaskey. I think he said that when he performs the song he revises the lyrics about the fat woman to bring them in tune with the times. I wouldn’t have noticed the possible offense if he hadn’t mentioned it and I don’t recall how he “fixes” it, but I hope we can still laugh over the song’s wit and humor.