GREAT EXPECTORATIONS

There’s nothing like a mid-January, low-near-zero-degrees day with snow underfoot and icicles overhead, to remind us that spring is just around the corner — if not the nearest corner, then a corner in Arizona or Florida, where Major League baseball will soon begin spring training.

Baseball, as you will recall, is that sport where spitters are both frowned upon and commonplace — frowned upon, as in a long-illegal pitch called the spitter (spitball), and commonplace, in that few are the players who don’t partake in the manly art of spitting:

One would think that in this day and age, with so much attention given to sanitary practices, ballparks would be required to have spittoons placed at various points on the ball field. For example, how about replacing the bases, home plate, and pitching rubber with spittoons sunk into the ground and covered with a grate? Wouldn’t that be great? Same idea in the outfield and coach’s boxes. Hey, if grates work great on storm sewers, they should be able to handle all the spit coming down at baseball fields. As for the dugouts, a few dozen buckets strategically placed within spitting distance of the bench should do the trick, along with maybe a sandbox for those who need a bigger target. All this spitting image improvement at no great expense — what’s not to like?

While we’re at it, why not cover all the bases by replacing some of the uncouth music played at major league parks, like The Chicken Dance, with spit tunes such as this:

Speaking of covering all the bases (and then some), Who better to do so than….

I’m out of here.

 

 

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MER-SEA

In comments to a Jan.2 Peach of a post titled Fallen Angel, I included links to BEYOND THE SEA and LA MER (English and French versions of the same song). Diana Peach’s preternatural post & both song links can be found here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/

I bring this up because that song is just one of several ‘beautiful’ sea songs I recall, and I thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane — or should I say, memory beach. I invite you to join me….that is, if you don’t mind getting sand — as I don’t mind getting….

And now let us start our stroll:

Of course, there is more than one way to see the sea — you can join the Navy:

You say the Navy’s not your cup of sea? Then let us end our stroll like Mr. Bean, oblivious to all else, bidding glorious adieu to….

Mer-sea beaucoup.

DUBIOUS PROPOSITIONS

I’m a big fan of old sayings, but even I concede that some sayings could no more pass the proverbial smell test than a rodent could pass a spell(ing) test. They may seem innoscent enough, but smellegant isn’t the same as elegant, and you must admit that a proverb like A turd in the hand is worth two in the tush is less than elegant. Really, close encounters of the turd kind could leave you holding your nose….if not checking your rear-view mirror.

That said, are such askew old sayings any less farcical than the twisted tweets America’s Tweeter-in-Chief oft twitters? “Fake news!”…”fake news!”…”fake news!” And if ANYONE can smell (like) a rat when it comes to fake news, it is obviously President Tweety Turd.

Leaving the President’s behind for a moment, here are some classic old sayings. Can you make out the fakeout — aka smell the rat — in these venerable gems?

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and mocks like a mocking bird, duck — it’s The Donald.

A watched pot never boils….but it may get a bit peeved.

A rolling stone gathers no animosity.

A fool and his honey are soon parted.

Faint heart ne’er won bare lady.

Oil and water don’t mix — got that, Slick?

You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can get honey out of two-lips.

Monkey pee pee, monkey do do (easy come, easy go).

Dead men tell no tales, but some may leave a will which does.

Friends and would-be heirs, some of the above were almost enough to make me gag, but I can assure your butt that not every old phrase strays in dubious ways. For example:

….and this:

….and this:

Oh….and I almost forgot this old saying: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

Z END (AT LAST)

With Z 26th letter of Z alphabet/26th post of this series, we come equally to Z end of both. This calls for Z celebration….so “Come wiz me to ze Casbah” and we make sweet music together. Z girl songs, zey may be few, but zat does not mean we need end on Z sour note.

Ah, ze Casbah in old ALGIERS — where French-turned-American actor Charles Boyer famously put the above Come to ze Casbah come-on on the beautiful Hedy Lamarr….or did he? To answer zat question, you must comme see for yourself:

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/121579%7C0/Algiers.html

Comme saw?

But I digress from the music, for which we turn first to beautiful American-turned-French (due to racism in America) entertainer, Josephine Baker:

We turn next to one of England’s finest (and one of my favorite) composers, Noel Coward, whose urbane, wistful lyrics graced such great songs as A ROOM WITH A VIEW and….

And now we come to the song I referred to (in reply to a comment to my previous post) as, strictly speaking, not qualified for this post….the reason being that it starts with T. However, the T is silent; for all intents and purposes, and in a pronounced way, it’s a Z song….and a rousing, joyous one it is, for “Dawn will find us laughing in the sunlight, dancing, dancing, dancing with my Tzena”:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is my last post until after the holidays, as this series has been music to my ears at the expense of other demands and endeavors (once I got on a roll, I got caught up in posting every third day despite not intending such frequency). Now, before catching up becomes the impossible dream, it behooves me to hustle while I work at getting around to tackling those other endeavors….such as catching some more Zs.

If I’m too sound asleep to be ‘alarmed’ by all this by the end of the year, wake me when it’s over.

“W” MAY TROUBLE YA (it certainly troubles me)

I’ve seen A Fish Named Wanda, but I’ve never heard a song named Wanda. I thought of using the Fish Named Wanda movie theme music in this post, but it’s hardly a song, and in any case, too recent (1988) to qualify as an oldie by my picky standards for this series. This illustrates my problem: although there are a number of girls names starting with W, few of them made their way into old song titles. Luckily (?) for you, however, I have managed to dredge up three, the first of which is so old (1906), even I don’t remember it.

ARRAH WANNA tells of an Irish lad named Barney Carney proposing marriage to an Indian maiden named Wanna, after which they “can love and bill and coo in a wigwam built of shamrocks green.” Arrah is an old Irish term; its meaning isn’t well defined, but seems well intended, given the setup as Barney sets a record for blarney because he don’t wanna Lack-a-Wanna. Needing a W song, I decided ‘owl’ play along — it may be a hoot:

Next is a song I do remember, though it’s not the most memorable song in the world (well, maybe it is in Copenhagen):

We close with an oldie so young, I suspect many of you remember it (first recorded in 1964 by the life-is-a-Beach Boys):

U CAN’T BLAME ME FOR MESSING WITH U

I need to take liberties with U girl, because U girl songs are scarcer than u might think. There is a song titled URSALA (from the Latin ursa, meaning bear)….but it’s not an oldie, so I’m going to pass on Ursala. Bear with me as I try to make it through the pass before my puns become unbearable.

Our first song, UTAH WE LOVE THEE, is a reach, but a few girls have been named Utah in Utah, so I’m of a state of mind to go with it. Georgia On My Mind, eat your heart out.

Next is an even bigger reach, as I’m going with a Lady called Ukulele:

Isn’t Ukulele Lady lovely? Who’d ever guess that gal is 92 years old (‘born’ 1925) and can still do wicky wacky woo…not to mention inka dinka doo? It’s all good in the moonlight.

This brings us to the biggest reach of all — but the season is right and the singer is a U, even if the song isn’t:

IT’S T TIME

It’s T time — time once again to take to the links and “T” off. Our first link, as I post this in the wee small hours of the morning, is a tune that goes through a roll call of maids-in-waiting. As you will hear, Frank’LL TAKE TALLULAH. (It dawns on me that come the Don, Frankel take her too, or I miss my bet*):

*referring to our friend Don Frankel, fellow unofficial member of the Frank Sinatra fan club

Four years after the above 1944 recording, another T came into Sinatra’s life:

As you may know, Tina is the name of Sinatra’s ‘other’ daughter (Nancy being the older and more celebrated of the two). So how did Tina really feel about her famous father?

We started with a WW II era song from a movie, and we’ll close with another: Johnny Mercer’s TANGERINE, from THE FLEET’S IN (1942). The orchestra this time is Jimmy Dorsey’s (brother of Tommy, who took Tallulah aboard Ship Ahoy in the first clip):

If the last clip, in particular, shows its age and looks/sounds quaint to us today, remember this is what your parents or grandparents listened and danced to in their day ….and you would have done the same in their place. Truth be told, aren’t most of us captives of the culture we’re in? I may be spitting into the wind, but it strikes me that we’re stuck in shallow water if we think there is only ‘now.’ Why so many have so little interest in where we came from is beyond me. It might tell us how we got here. It might even help tell us where to go (not that I would ever do such a thing).