“IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE, PLAY ON”

No doubt, the above words are familiar to you, but do you remember who penned them? If not, may I suggest that you….

Friends, Romans, countrymen: now that your Shakespeare is refreshed, are you in the mood for some food music? If so, let’s meat our next song:

No potatoes? That will never do, especially if you’re short of moolah and longing for love….

That’s all for now. If you didn’t dig the chow, don’t have a cow. I love you anyhow.

THINK NOTHING OF IT

Seeing as how July 26 is ALL OR NOTHING DAY, I realized ALL OR NOTHING is as good a subject as any to post about today. A good thing too, as the only thing that had come to mind was nothing, otherwise this post might be about something, which at this point is something I want nothing to do with, as a post about something would be worth nothing unless nothing is the something I want to post something about nothing about.

Speaking of ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL, I subsequently came upon a dissertation by one Farouk Radwan, MSc, about all-or-nothing thinking, which may explain one way why The King of Self-Trumpeting Liars, Donald Trump, is the way he is. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, this may be more than you want to know (and certainly more than Trump knows, or would admit if he DID know), but I can stand it if you can:

“Narcissism is one of the causes of the all or nothing way of thinking. Being a narcissist either devalues people and considers them worthless, or thinks highly of them” [like how The Donald devalues Robert Mueller but thinks highly of his no-bargain Attorney General, William Barr?].

Anyway — after much ado about nothing — I close with the Trump badministration’s theme song*:

*composed in the year 1934 B.T. (Before Trump) by Cole Porter, including these oh-so-apt-today lyrics:

The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today
And black’s white today
And day’s night today

So ANYTHING GOES, but TRUMP STAYS? That can’t be good, or my name is Cole Porter.

 

 

BETTER HATE THAN NEVER

It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something. –Samuel Butler

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Eight days from today, much of the civilized world will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Between now and then, the candy kiss and chocolate industry will make nothing short of a mint, selling sweet somethings to buyers to treat lovers….what some might call a vast capitalist conspiracy to take advantage of the lovesick. I* call it, “Bah! Humbug! A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 14th of February!”

Therefore and mean-while, I’m proposing to you the need for a date — a day to counterbalance that upcoming day of over-commercialized romance and mushy love with a date which celebrates its opposite: hot-blooded, hard-boiled HATE. And what better way to inspire a hateful frame of mind than appropriate mood music:

*and Ebenezer Scrooge

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Still not feeling the hate? All right, ladies, repeat after me: I Hate You, Darling….

However, being the sensitive soul that I am, I’d rather you not hate me personally. So let’s broad-en the scope and close on this e-gal-itarian note:

Hold on. We can’t close without a name for this hate date. Down With Love Day? Cupid Sucks Day? Miss Ogamist Day? Better Hate Than Never Day? Wait a sec — now we’re back where we started.

This is the end.

 

JAZZ DAYS IN THE JAZZ AGE

The 1920s were an era of great contradictions. After winning WWI, the United States seemed to be (on the surface) a more liberated country than previously, finally shaking off the restrictions of the Victorian era. Dresses became shorter, many more women entered the workforce, dancing became more exciting and sensuous, some movies actually hinted strongly at sex, the economy was prosperous, and jazz seemed to be everywhere as the country experienced something like a decade-long party [known as The Jazz Age and The Roaring 20s].
But a closer look reveals Republicans ruled the White House, liquor was illegal (even if gangsters and bootleggers made it widely available), the Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its popularity (with lynchings of blacks commonplace), racism was institutionalized, big business had few restrictions, poverty was widespread, and there was no safety net. It was a great era to be rich and white, but the poor and blacks were barely tolerated by average middle-class citizens. –Scott Yanow, author of CLASSIC JAZZ*

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The above puts Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 nonstop transatlantic flight (see my last post) in broader historical context. ‘Fellow’ aviator Elinor Smith Sullivan later said, “It’s hard to describe the impact Lindbergh had on people. The twenties was such an innocent time.” This helps explain why songs like LINDBERGH, EAGLE OF THE USA and LUCKY LINDY were written by wantwits with words which would make wittier writers wince.

Thus, the wittiest composer/lyricist this side of the Atlantic, Cole Porter, put the Jazz Age in earthier terms:

In other words….

Our flight of fancy, like Lindbergh’s, ends in gay Paree with a song (recorded in 1930) from Porter’s 1929 musical FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN:

*Kindle edition available online for as low as $17.99 (highly recommended for classic jazz lovers)

 

 

 

THE WAGES OF SIN TAX

Pardon the intrusion —
I don’t mean to pry —
But the deficit’s soaring;
The figures don’t lie.

Uncle Sam’s in a pickle —
Needs money like mad —
So he sent me to tell you
You must pay to be bad.

He’s taxed income and outgo
And capital gains;
Now, an excise on excess
Is all that remains.

Uncle wants to be fair —
No sin taxes he’ll seek
‘less you go making love
More than one time a week.

I’m installing surveillance
To monitor your behavior.
Lusting under covers won’t save you —
I’ll hear your cries to the Father of your Savior.

But please don’t take this personal —
It’s my job to listen and view it.
Hey, you know what they say:
Someone’s got to do it.

So….

 

 

 

 

GOODBYE AGAIN

I have never been able to discover anything disgraceful in being a colored man. But I have often found it inconvenient. –Bert Williams

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Yesterday marked the 96th anniversary of the death of the great “colored” comedian Bert Williams, whose humorous 1920 song I WANT TO KNOW WHERE TOSTI WENT (WHEN HE SAID GOODBYE) appeared in my last post. You can learn a bit more about this pioneering black entertainer in the racist America of the late 1800s/early 1900s by clicking here: https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200038860/

To commemorate the anniversary of the day Bert Williams said “Goodbye forever,” I thought I would extend that post’s theme with a curtain call of several later “goodbye” songs from America’s Golden Age of Popular Music (if not yet America’s Golden Age of race relations). Just a little something to keep in mind, every time we say goodbye (courtesy of Cole Porter):

So, what’s good about goodbye? I’m glad you asked (courtesy of Harold Arlen):

Perhaps next post, I’ll transition into some ‘hello’ songs. It would help the transfiguration if I could put this song title in reverse:

P.S. The first several readers of this post may have been confused by changes made in the last clip after I posted it. What I initially thought was a clip of another vocalist singing “Hello, My Lover, Goodbye” turned out to be in error, so, left with few choices, I hastily tried to switch to a clip of Doris Day (NOT one of my favorite vocalists) singing the song. After a few ‘haste-makes-waste’ starts, I made the substitution, but probably left a few of you wondering if I hadn’t said goodbye to my mind. But all’s well that ends well (I hope).

 

THEY’RE PLAYING R SONG (PART II)

Although R (Part II) brings the number of posts (18) in this series in line with the corresponding letter of the alphabet, I foresee that after S and T, most of the remaining letters are going to present a challenge to staying on course  — especially X. The only gal I’m aware of whose name starts with X was Xanthippe, wife of Socrates, but as far as I know, no one back then wrote a song about her….and if they did, they left no record — or even sheet music. Papyrus would have been available, though apparently it was used for different ends, which in hindsight was a good idea on paper, but went to waste in practice.

Meanswhile, back at the R, it’s time to ride:

Red may have had a head start, but Rosetta and Rosalie have their own tales to tell:

That’s all four now. Happy Thanksgiving!