Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head.
— The Windmills of Your Mind
When Caryl, my friend and fellow blogger (Home Sweet Abbey), asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on something, I jumped at the opportunity. I’d disabled any notification about the WordPress “Daily Prompt” a while back, mainly because it made me feel anxious about not churning out a daily masterpiece. So when Caryl mentioned a recent prompt featured the word “jangle,” my rock and roll brain began singing to itself, “In that jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.” But before my mouth could even form the words, Caryl continued with “Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head,” a line she explained was from a Michel Legrand song, The Windmills of Your Mind. I tried to suppress any facial expression that would have revealed while I recognized the song title and the composer’s name (Legrand wrote the score for Summer of ’42), I couldn’t recall any more lyrics from it. Okay, I thought. I’ll stall for a while and eventually Caryl will mention something that’ll jangle loud enough for those sleeping brain cells in my head to awaken. She said the song was from a late 1960s film, The Thomas Crown Affair. Okay, I know that film. Couldn’t tell you a thing about it, but I recognize the title. That’s a start. When she said Sting performed The Windmills of Your Mind for a later remake of the film, a couple of those brain cells yawned and opened their bleary eyes. I kinda remembered hearing him sing it. Or perhaps it was just my imagination, as I know I’d never seen the remake either. But I know this song. We agreed to pursue the proposal and Caryl said she would email me some notes about the song and the film.
Upon returning home, I checked my email and saw Caryl’s message with the notes she promised. It was still bugging me that I couldn’t remember The Windmills of Your Mind. In the old days I would have had to flip through dozens of record albums, scanning track listings on each one to pursue a hunch that maybe, just maybe, I have someone singing that song on an album in my collection. It’s much simpler now with a computer. I typed in the first few characters of “windmills” and with the speed of electrons, a complete title and artist displayed on my screen. I love technology.
I’ve had Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis CD in my collection for some time now. It, along with virtually all my other CDs and LPs have been transferred to a digital format and stored on my computer. They’re intermingled with more recent purchases, digitally downloaded from online music stores. So I listened to the sultry voice of Dusty Springfield singing The Windmills of Your Mind through earbuds.
Thanks to YouTube, I listened to a dozen other renditions including the original soundtrack version by Noel Harrison, the remade soundtrack mix by Sting and the haunting 1969 Academy Awards performance by Jose Feliciano. I couldn’t stop myself. The jangling was getting louder. I listened to covers by Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, and Johnny Mathis. Not content with only the English versions, I sought out the original French recording, Les Moulins de mon Coeur (The Windmills of my Heart) performed by Marcel Amont. Jangling out of control, I digressed for a moment and listened to Legrand’s beautiful score for Summer of ’42. And though completely unrelated, I listened to Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra perform the theme from A Man and a Woman (Un Homme Et Une Femme) before getting back to business. Lastly, I heard the psychedelic, yet soulful rendering of The Windmills of Your Mind by Vanilla Fudge from their 1969 album, Rock & Roll. I highly recommend it. It will jangle in your head for quite some time. For eight minutes and fifty-five seconds, to be exact.