It’s as though Megan Lynch was born to sing these songs. Her new album, Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me, is such a heartfelt rendition of the great music of Warner Brothers productions that you can almost imagine her singing in the lovely black and white movies of the 1940s, with their rich, mellow sound.
These melodies will be most familiar to those of us who are older, and who grew up on Bugs Bunny cartoons. But the cartoons have been replayed and revived so often, for so long, that a great many younger people will know this music too. (You wonder how many people in North America automatically think of a frog dancing in tux and top hat, the instant they hear the words, “Hello ma baby, hello ma honey, hello my ragtime gal…”)
Lynch gives us the songs in a much different way from how we remember them in the cartoons. These are the grownup versions, lush and mature, with the full lyrics. There’s no cartoonish quality here, and yet Lynch captures the mood of the songs with confidence and aplomb. You want saucy? You want “The Latin Quarter.” How about dreamy? Head straight for “It Can’t Be Wrong.” Lynch’s voice is as rich, clear, and true as that of any singer who sang the originals.
The Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me website allows you to download the whole album, or else choose the individual songs you want. For each song, there’s a brief description of where the music first appeared, and how it was used in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons and Warner Brothers films. There’s no suggested minimum price, but you’ll want to pay Lynch, and the other musicians who appear on the album, a price that makes it worth their while to have created such great music. Give them the thanks and appreciation they deserve.
I actually squealed when I heard the beginning of “We’re in the Money,” and remembered the countless times I’d heard that tune as I was growing up. A lot of us will be familiar with these melodies without at first remembering why. Along with the pleasure of Megan Lynch’s renditions, we’re going to get the delightful frisson of recognition and nostalgia as it all comes back to us. The Brothers Warner taught a great many of us these same songs too.