It Was Just One of Those Things...

Reviewed by mojo

I gotta say, I really enjoy this song, even though Mojo has never been one of those "Just one of those things" kinda gals. It's just the perfect mix. Ella's having a blast, the band is getting their patented Big Band "stings" in between lines, and the song itself has a good "no hard feelings" vibe which Mojo finds a refreshing change from today's "I'm-off-to-write-my-tell-all-book-and-believe-me-you're-in-for-the-trashing-of-a-lifetime" culture. Very Charlie on "Two and a Half Men", minus the piggish part.

(Mojo feels the need to confess that, despite her devil-may-care joie de vivre she is actually one of those poor saps who gets hopelessly attached to people once she decides to become attached. Meaning, if indeed a relationship of hers ever reached the "Hey, honey, I wrote a song about you" phase, if the song turned out to be THIS one Mojo would not be excessively happy about it. As in Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction switching the lamp on and off not happy. Okay, probably not so far as bunny-boiling; Mojo realizes it's not the poor rabbit's fault they have a jerk for an owner. Happily for everyone concerned Mojo has been off the market now for DECADES and has no immediate plans to return (that whole hopeless attachment thing so skillfully alluded to earlier), and she recognizes that the world has changed and she has become Hopelessly Old Fashioned, but she has never been one for fashion anyway and she is mostly like that because becoming hopelessly devoted to someone is Just the Way She Was Made. But even as a part of her thinks "What an awful topic for a song; my mighty heart would just break if this ever happened to me" the more rational part of her is saying, "Gosh, what a fun song! And Ella's singing! Quit thinking and just listen, you idiot!" This dichotomy, I suspect, is why Mojo is not invited to more parties, and why when she is invited she has a tendency to just stand there staring with her mouth open.)

Ella sang this many, many times in her career, and you can see why. Forget Mojo's pathetic idiosyncracies for a minute; it's a fun song, it's got a great beat, and I keep losing count as to how many notes Ella crams into the phrase "So goodbye, dear". (It's at least a dozen.) It also builds nicely, from a simple piano-accompanied introduction to the full-brass big-band finish. Sure, you might be getting ignominiously dumped, but at least you can snap your fingers to it!

Just One of Those Things (1956)

in
Click below to hear a sample--or scroll down for associated media: 
Disc Number: 
1
Composer: 
Cole Porter
Lyricist: 
Cole Porter
Time: 
3:30

From Wikipedia:

 

"Just One of Those Things" is a popular song written by Cole Porter for the 1935 musical Jubilee.

The song was later featured in two Doris Day musicals, Lullaby of Broadway (1951) and Young at Heart (1954).

The song has become a standard, with many recordings having been made of it. Among artists who have recorded it are Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Louis Prima, Diana Krall, John Barrowman, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson, Nellie McKay, Erin McKeown, Joan Morris and The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl. Nat King Cole recorded it as the title track of his 1957 album "Just One Of Those Things". Peggy Lee recorded it in a stylized arrangement to become a chart topping hit in the 50's. Maurice Chevalier included it in a Cole Porter medley on his farewell album, released on his 80th birthday.

Holden Caulfield, the narrator of J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, is fond of the song, and remarks that even the "stinking band" in the hotel lounge "couldn't ruin it entirely."

An episode of Get Smart alluded to the song: Agent 86 (posing as a mentally ill military officer) tells the psychiatrist he's investigating that he had been working on a space vehicle of his own: "Gossamer Wings," but lamented that "it was just one of those things."

The series finale of M*A*S*H took its name "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" from a line in the song.