Cheek to Cheek
“Cheek to Cheek” is a cross between an integrally expressive song and a performance number. Irving Berlin had begun writing it in New York for More Cheers, but he revised it in Hollywood so that it would fit into the dramatic setting of Top Hat. Berlin structured the song musically and lyrically so that it expanded the usual 32-bar AABA into 72 bars, and he also made the opening abrupt. He even challenged Astaire's limited vocal range by taking the melody into a full octave, so that Astaire literally had to “speak” rather than “sing” the end of the line. Because of the structuring done by Berlin, “Cheek to Cheek” develops an intricate lyrical and musical structure that is integrally wedded to the extended dance sequence and the developing relationship between the performers.
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