TODAY IS BACKWARD DAY (aka YAD DRAWKCAB)

31 January >> ?know you don’t >> DAY BACKWARD is >> say sources so

Not so fast! If you backward the numbers, today is only 13 January….which means that we’re not even halfway though the month yet. Who wants that many more winter days on top of the 29 — make that 92 — days of February (this being leap year) and 81 days of March (winter officially ends 18 March). So screw backwards!

Of course, if you live below the equator, there’s the added downside of being upside down on top of being backward (no offense intended). But at least it’s summer down below, so you’re not freezing your backside off. Where I live, it’s so cold, I have to leave my refrigerator door open to warm up my igloo.

Speaking of cold, have you heard the one about the mama who got the blues she can’t lose due to her feet being colder than frozen meat ‘neath an ice-cold sheet in a bed missing papa’s heat?

Back to YAD DRAWCAB: DO GEESE SEE GOD? Whether they do or don’t, the question reads the same spelled forward and backward. This is known as a PALINDROME (which isn’t a palindrome because it’s EMORDNILAP spelled backward). However, in Alaska, they call it a SARAHPALINDROME (which is EMPTYHEADED spelled in any direction).

Assuming you can stand more (if not, remain seated):

Looking back on Backward Day, it dawns on me not to leave this day behind without a backward song to turn backward to when it would be a drawback not to turn backward:

In closing, I hope today isn’t your birthday, because I wouldn’t like to think you’re a backward baby — but just in case you are, in addition to wishing you a Happy Birthday, I wish you a….

!YAD DRAWKCAB YPPAH

 

 

A PAIN IN THE NECK

PAIN IN THE NECK: Someone or something that is annoying or difficult to deal with –Cambridge English Dictionary

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Friends, we all know someone who is a pain in the neck (or, at the bottom end of the species, a pain in the ass)….as distinguished from someone who HAS a pain in the neck. Unfortunately, mistermuse (aka me) HAS a pain in the neck, so today I went to see an orthopedist, who took X-rays and diagnosed my affliction as….a pain in the neck!

Naïve soul that I am, I was hoping to learn the cause of my weeks-long pain in the neck, but at least my self-diagnosis was confirmed, so I suppose I should feel good about myself….at least, that part of myself that doesn’t hurt like crazy (like the part that grew out of my neck). Fortunately, it only hurts when I’m up and when I’m in bed, so it could be worse.

Anyway, to make a long neck story short, I’ve been prescribed a muscle relaxant and an appointment with a physical therapist in the same building….and ‘there a pissed’ mistermuse will return next week for treatment. I may be sticking my neck out, but I’m hoping for relief at slightly less than break-neck speed.

 

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE ZILCH

Wanna know something? January 16 is NATIONAL NOTHING DAY. Since I can think of nothing I’d rather do today than filch some zilch, I’m going to take this day and make Nothing of it. Actually, Nothing couldn’t have come at a better time for this post, ’cause if there’s one thing I gotta lotta, it’s nada.

For you language purists out there, when I said I gotta lotta nada, whata oughta said was….

Now that you’ve had your fill of nothing and I’ve made the case that there’s nothing better than nothing, I have all the nothing that’s everything I need to amount to anything. Ain’t that something!

Watch out, piggy!

MISTERMUSE FOR PRESIDENT!

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.” –Donald Trump, June 16, 2015

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That was then; this is now.

Fringe, Morons, Countrymen, lend me your rears. I am officiously running for President of the Disunited States, because I feel like it….and who isn’t in favor of doing what they feel like? Now, we know that The Donald feels likewise, but let’s face it — he’s an asshole.

I can hear some of you Trumplodytes saying, “He may be an asshole, but at least he’s my asshole.” Sir — or ma’am, as the base may be — I admit that you’re entitled to your own asshole, but if you don’t mind my saying so, your asshole is full of shit….and after three-plus years of the shit fitting the man, enough of him is too much (and vice versa).

Friends, you and I both realize that, though the Dems’ heart may be in the right place, they’ve been letting the bullying GOP kick their cajones from here to South America for too long. That is why, in addition to slumming for Pres, I am announcing the formation of a new political party called The Fair And Respectful Treatment Party (or FART for short), because that’s what the American people deserve — and when I become President, they will get the FART they’re entitled to.

It’s not going to be easy, friends. I’m getting a late start, and the dollar three twenty five I have in the bank is just enough to cover my ass until my unemployment compensation kicks in. So I’ll be counting on your support and the support of my billions of blog followers to finance my campaign. If you can’t afford to send money, other assets will be gratefully accepted so long as they pass the smell test.

And although the Democratic party may no longer be the party of kick-ass Presidents like FDR, his campaign theme song is still just the ticket for me:

P.S. Highest donor gets to head my campaign and handle the money (just keep it under your hat).

THEY CALLED HIM AL

When I was writing about lyricist DOROTHY FIELDS and composer BERNICE PETKERE in my previous post (TWO TO GO), I had no thought of using it as a segue to this post ….but that was before I discovered that tomorrow is the birthday of a music man who sang at least a half dozen of Fields’ 1930s songs, including ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (sung in the previous post by Diana Krall), not to mention the Petkere song CLOSE YOUR EYES (sung in the same post by that very man). They called him Al.

That another-world-ago Al is this world’s forgotten man, except by a relative handful of Golden Age music devotees around the world (primarily in America and Great Britain). His name was ALBERT ALICK BOWLLY (Jan 7, 1899-Apr. 17, 1941), heard here in a recording of a Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern song from the film JOY OF LIVING:

Did you notice from the above dates that Bowlly had his life taken from him at a relatively young age? This was the tragic result of a WW II German air raid (one of many) on London in the early 1940s. But while he lived, who was this troubadour they called Al?

Away from the bandstand he was a vagabond. He was a jazz mad musical nomad who traveled from his childhood home, South Africa, to London and all stops between in search of musical perfection with whatever band would have him. He plied his trade as a guitarist, a banjo, concertina and ukulele player, a pianist and occasional singer of songs. He took America by storm. The story of his musical meanderings, highs and lows, could only have happened in the thirties. –Roy Hudd, British author, comedian, actor, and expert on the history of music hall entertainment

Listening to Diana Krall in the previous post — as well as CLOSE YOUR EYES vocalist Al Bowlly — we are taken by their way with a song, their Joy of Living the songs they sang…. as further evidenced by this rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic, BLUE MOON:

Here is one of his few appearances on film:

For those interested in learning more of the story of Bowlly’s nomadic life, there’s an excellent bio called THEY CALLED HIM AL, by Ray Pallett, with Forward by Roy Hudd. As for this go-around, we’ve come to the last dance — it’s time to call it a day. I bid you a reluctant Au Revoir.

 

 

TWO TO GO

As 2019 goes into the history books, we close out the year and our series of 1920s-30s female songwriters with two of the best: BERNICE PETKERE and DOROTHY FIELDS.

PETKERE, the longest lived (1901-2000) but perhaps least remembered of the women in this series, had her greatest success as a composer in the 1930s. This hit (with lyrics by Joe Young) was recorded in early 1932 by a rising star by the name of Bing Crosby:

Petkere, primarily a composer, also wrote the lyrics to a few of her songs, including….

Saving the class of the field for last, we turn to the most prolific lady lyricist of the era (and the first woman to be elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame), DOROTHY FIELDS, “the only female songwriter of the golden age whose name has not sunk into oblivion with time.” –Deborah Grace Winer, author of ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, subtitled THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DOROTHY FIELDS

Named after Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame, she teamed with composer Jimmy McHugh in 1927 to write many hits over the next eight years, including this all-time standard in 1930:

Fields went on to write many songs with other composers until her death in 1974….but as much as I’d like to post links to more of Fields work, I’m going to resist temptation (you know what they say about too much of a good thing), Take It Easy*, and call it a Fields day

….except to say, Happy New Year!

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*the title, it so happens, of a Fields song I resisted linking to (recorded by Fats Waller)

 

ANN, THEN SOME….MORE FEMALE SONGWRITERS

Continuing with our female songwriters of the 1920s-30s, ANN RONELL is notable not only for her music (she wrote both music and lyrics), but for the oddity of having been both born and died on Christmas day (in 1905 and 1993). Here is my favorite of her songs, which she wrote in 1932 and dedicated to her friend, George Gershwin:

In the same Great Depression year, she kept the wolf from her door by writing lyrics to this song featured in the Walt Disney “Silly Symphonies” cartoon, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS:

Another December baby (Dec. 3 1909), DANA SUESSE composed many songs, including the instrumental Jazz Nocturne, which (with lyrics added by Edward Heyman in 1932) became this standard:

There’s more, but I will save the best one for last (in this series). Hint: the day I publish that post will be a Fields day.