Sunday, December 18, 2005

A little song, a little dance . . .

During the Christmas season Americans of all faiths and creeds are required to gather 'round the piano and sing the songs of World War I.

Okay, okay, bad intro, but only because it's not true. Listen anyway to "America, Here's My Boy"and, for diversity's sake, "Don't Take My Darling Boy Away."

Mothers have always been strange, but in the early 20th century they had to wear a funny uniform too.

Notice what these songs have in common? They stink.

So do a lot of WW II songs ("Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" comes to mind). And let's just skip Korea and Vietnam.

What's your point, chucklehead?

Well, just that in a weak genre, the worst song ever has to be Keith Toby's (sorry, Toby Keith's) Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. It's just embarrassing, and that's even compared to the North Korean stuff, on which I've become something of an involuntary expert.

Holding this opinion reveals me as an out-and-out communist, of course, but I'm a communist who recognizes bad music when he hears it.

Interesting facts and figures

The music to "Don't Take My Darling Boy Away" is by Albert Von Tilzer. Coincidentally I have my grandmother's sheet music to another Von Tilzer tune, "The Alcoholic Blues":

Scroll down a few songs here to listen.

Von Tilzer also wrote the music to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

(Credit: The sheet music covers and the recording of "The Alcoholic Blues" are from Parlorsongs, a very neat site.)

Update: Music starts blaring immediately when you hit some of these links, I forget which ones. (Gotta work on my "not work-safe" warnings.)

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