Tunes on Tuesday – Peel Me A Grape

Why this tune?

I picked “Peel Me A Grape” this week to have an opportunity to talk about the great pianist and songwriter Dave Frishberg. If you’re of a certain age, you may know him from Schoolhouse Rock – he wrote and sang “I’m Just a Bill.” If you’re a bit older, you might know his other classics from the 1960s, 70s and 80s like “I’m Hip,” “My Attorney Bernie.” When I started writing songs, I definitely had Frishberg in mind, him and Bob Dorough, who co-wrote I’m Hip and also wrote some Schoolhouse Rock tunes. If I can get even close to their level of verbal and musical craft and cleverness I’ll be happy.

Dig this detail!

Peel Me A Grape works because it takes a simple idea, “Pamper me, honey” to an illogical extreme. The last line is wonderful: “I’m getting hungry / So Peel Me A Grape” 

Check it out!

There are plenty of lovely versions of Peel Me A Grape to choose from. Here’s Shirley Horn

Another sultry version by René Marie 

Finally, here’s the man himself singing “You Would Rather Have The Blues”

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer in Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology professional working at a small DC nonprofit

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