Hal David – 25th May 1921 to 1st September 2012

Hal David died last Saturday at the age of 91. 

I may not have mentioned this fact if I hadn’t been lucky enough to see Burt Bacharach perform at BB King’s Blues Bar and Grill, New York City, in 2006.

Even people who may not know their names would know the songs of the writing partnership of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  There is something wonderful in the disparity of Bacharach’s jaunty rhythms and up-beat melodies that contrasts perfectly with Hal David’s words – unless you actually listen closely you may not notice that his lyrics were observational, everyday and often world weary.  I of course knew many of their songs, it was the reason why I booked to see Bacharach; but hearing them being played one after another, after another, after another – a whole concert full of songs you knew, but never realised were all written by this writing duo was a revelation, and because of that it was one of the greatest gigs I’ve ever been to.

The sheer number of popular songs that David wrote the lyrics to:- Magic Moments, (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie, What’s New Pussycat?, The Look of Love,  I Say a Little Prayer, Walk On By, What the World Needs Now Is Love, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, Do You Know the Way to San Jose? – and the list goes on!  The fact that they are still remembered, played, and sung, fifty years and more after they were written proves that he was one of the greatest lyricists of the twentieth century and deserves remembering.

If you’d like to read his obituary you can easily find one of hundreds online to give you his life details.  Better still – play a few of his songs.


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