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Morning Song – A Thing To Come By

March 7, 2016

There’s always a certain amount of mystery about the title of an instrumental.  Songs with lyrics tend to be easy to name—just take a phrase from the chorus, or an opening line. But you can’t do that if there are now words.

Classical music tends to solve this problem with numbers (Beethoven’s 5th symphony, Mozart’s K. 545) or key signatures (e.g., Chopin’s “Nocturne in C Minor”), but that doesn’t happen often with popular music.

I don’t know how Jimmy McGriff came up with the title for the three-minute groove-and-horns gem called “A Thing To Come By”. Is it an expression of joy at happening upon this tight little piece of soul? Is it a bit of mock modesty? (“Oh, this little thing? It’s just something I came by one day while messing around on my Hammond B3.”) Is it a statement of how soul-filled the late 1960s were, that great little songs like this were just lying around clubs and studios? That musicians were—figuratively speaking—ankle-deep in great grooves, like fishermen when the salmon are running and all you have to do is reach down and pick another one up?

You can ponder these questions…or you can just listen to “A Thing To Come By” to get another “McGriff Monday” off on the right foot.

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From → Music

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