On a day when things just aren’t going right, when every small step morphs into a major climb, when the sky is gloomy and dark, on such a day it can seem like what one needs is someone like Mr. Fred Rogers — someone kind and gentle who will say, “You are special. You are my friend. I’m glad you’re here.”
But when one is a grownup, one feels strange tuning into Mr. Rogers Neighborhood after work. Sure, the sentiment is right and maybe just what’s needed, but the delivery doesn’t quite work.
One those occasions, here’s the solution: Those well-known songs of Fred Rogers — warm and friendly lyrics and oh-so-familiar melodies — delivered in a swanky, grownup style. A jazzy, cocktail style.
What you need is “Mister Rogers Swings! Holly Yarbrough Sings the Fred Rogers Songbook.”
All the classics are here: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “Please Don’t Think It’s Funny,” “You Are Special,” “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” and more. You can hear many of them on Holly’s MySpace page.
My particular favorite is “It’s You I Like,” which comes across a bit sultry but still wholesome enough to play at a preschool. I think of it as a counterpoint to the backhanded compliment of anyone’s version of “My Funny Valentine.”
Ms. Yarbrough was kind enough to send me a special edition copy of the CD to review, and the case and CD themselves are special too. The CD looks like a little vinyl album, and the case is a beautiful three-fold number. If you’re able to order one of this limited pressing of 5000, you’ll enjoy it.
Let’s make a snappy new day.