Great Modern Song Writers
Mussorsky, Chopin, Debussey, Rimsky-Korsakov & Tchaikovsky
Yesterday on Imus he rebroadcast his sidekick playing the Fantasy Impromptu by Chopin. Then Imus said, "That's a pretty melody in there". Now with him you never quite know if he is being disingenuous or doesn't know anything about his subject. That pretty little melody became the popular song, "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows". Chopin's compositions have always been a good source for great songs including "Till The End of Time" and "Could It Be Magic".
If you are going to steal, do it from the best whether it is Perry Como's "Moonlight Love" with the theme from Debussey's Claire de Lune or Procol Harem's "Whiter Shade of Pale" based on a Bach orchestral suite. Everyone gets into the act including the Beatles: "All You Need Is Love" and Blackbird originated with Bach and Beethoven.
Whole musicals have been snitched by the creative with my favorite being Kismet which originated in Borodin's Polovetsian Dances. Sometimes a writer even steals from themselves. Richard Rogers thought it was a shame to waste a lovely melody like "Beneath The Southern Cross" from the Victory at Sea Suite and put it into Me and Juliet as "No Other Love".
The habit continues with current composers such as The Korgis, Mary K. Blige and The Red Hot Chili Peppers who know a good song when they hear one written by Rachmaninov, Grieg or Pachelbel.
The next time you think you won't like classical music, take a closer listen, you might be surprised to hear Billy Joel running through your brain since he likes to shoplift from Brahms.