Monday, 19 December 2016

piano bar


From 3 years ago (and thanks so much for the many comments posted back then) ... at the end of a grueling Christmas shop-a-thon I suggested to my son, Michael that we had earned a trip to the piano bar at the Five Sails Bar and Lounge in the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver,  Lovely!

I'm taking a bit of a break (as is Poets United) and I will be back in the early days of 2017.  Happy Holidays, to all!

the grand hotel's cool elegance
lit by the sultry candle glow
in smoky piano notes:  ‘s wonderful.

and for the price
of one rum swizzle
or, if you’re feeling poor:  a beer,

anybody, off the street,
can buy the feeling:
that something 
too marvelous for words
is near.

as if, at any moment,
Cary Grant might just . . .

for we're all in the mood for a melody  
caught in snatches of poetic verse,
interspersed with such witty banter
you would think, we'd all rehearsed.

in the posh and dazzle
of that place
a trace  

of something in the air . . .

words and laughter
- je ne sais quoi -
I don't know:  but it is there.

couples love each other more,
entranced in lyrics like: 
the way you look tonight -
for fear . . .

that any moment
the clouds
they dance upon,
will fall to earth and, disappear. 

till then - and then the music ends -
to sad, scattered, shocked applause.
the last gulp, but . . . 
did you ever . . . what a swell party it was. 

'S Wonderful by George and Ira Gershwin was first introduced in the Broadway musical Funny Face in 1927. 

Too Marvelous for Words was written in 1937 by Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting.  It was featured in the 1937 film Ready, Willing and Able before it became the love theme in the 1947 film noir Dark Passage as the love theme that finally reunites Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.  

Well we're all in the mood for a melody, from the 1973 song Piano Man by Billy Joel. 

Something in the air from the song “I’ve grown accustomed to her face” written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe for the 1956 musical My Fair Lady.

The way you look tonight by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields as first sung by Fred Astaire in the 1936 film Swing Time. 

Till Then was written by Sol Marcus, Eddie Seiler and Guy Wood, and was first recorded by the Mills Brothers in 1963. 

Well did you ever . . . What a Swell Party (this is) by Cole Porter is from the 1956 movie High Society – sung by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Photo:  the picture is from the Five Sails Bar and Lounge in the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver – beautiful ocean views from the windows and a lovely piano bar.  I have fond memories of some great piano bars in Ottawa from long ago days when I worked for the public service, in that City. Occasionally, the girls in the office would treat ourselves to one piano bar cocktail on the odd payday.  It is an enchanting (though expensive – hence the one drink limit) treat.
 © 2013 Wendy Bourke 


  1. Yes. That is them. Captured in your words

  2. I have never been in there but yes, how very cool to borrow the setting of the rich and famous, if only for an hour.....smiles.

  3. I believe I remember this poem!

    Have a great holiday season, and we'll see you again soon.

  4. till then - and then the music ends -
    to sad, scattered, shocked applause.
    the last gulp, but . . .

    Enjoy it all for as long as it would last. Nothing like having likes of Cary Grant to liven it up!


  5. I feel like I'm sitting in that piano bar with my son Sheldon Douglas, I'm sure we'd be chatting with you and Michael as if it were yesterday:)

    1. Golly – what a surprise! How wonderful to hear from you, Susan. It certainly has been many years since we worked together, as advocates to get services for students geared to their specific needs. I think that being raised in a spirit of concern and activism fosters – in children – the notion that people can make a difference. All our kids are committed to various “giving” initiatives – Michael loving his job as a case manager for a west coast community resource center. All the best to you and your family.

  6. I feel like I would like to be in that piano bar... actually the song-titles brought be back to a concert (more being seated) listening to Diana Krall.. there is such warmth in music like that.

  7. I was listening and marvelling to the lyrics weaving with your poems ~

    Thanks for the lovely poem Wendy ~ Cheers for 2017!!!