Saturday, December 21, 2013


Seems I have one more post in me that I need to get out before we begin 2014. I've been saving this since about mid December. I really didn't want to spoil the mood by posting it before Christmas .

Anyway...a friend emailed this to me under the subject title 'This Should Make You Angry'. Personally is made me kind of sad. But, I'll let you decide how you feel about Lucy and her commentary on the Great US of A.


It's it a great country (the US). Where else can you get paid to visit  with your friends, lay around on the couch, and smoke weed...ALL DAY LONG!

Have a Happy New Year!

See you back here on the 1st of January for another exciting BATTLE OF THE BANDS.


Here we are, it's the 21st of December and I'm about to post the results for the final BATTLE OF THE BANDS for 2013. These past five months have really flown by, as is what usually happens when you're having fun, and BOTB has really been fun for me. I hope you all have had a good time also.

There have been so many interesting comments. It is apparent most of you have some sort of musical background. I don't like to talk too much about myself, but I'm gonna do it here for a little  bit anyway. This is some totally non-interesting FAE trivia (store it away,  maybe there will be a test - someday). I play the piano and obviously can read music. I've sung in choirs and 'the chorus'. I've even sung a duet or two (YIKES!). I don't consider myself to have a 'good' voice, but I do know something about music. BUT, more important that whatever silly or trivial musical knowledge I might have, I know what moves me, and that is what I expect from a really good piece of music whatever the genre. THAT, is also how I vote, both here at my own site and in the other BATTLES.

Now, on with my vote, but first the reason I decided to pit Mahalia and Sinead against each other.

I wanted to use 'Silent Night' as the song,  because, well, let's face it; when it comes to Christmas carols it is THE song. Rather than use another 'Bing' version or something that was overdone with a lot of backup and new fangled arrangements, I wanted something that was more simple, sung from the heart, something that felt really, Really, REALLY moving (at least to me). That led me to choose Mahalia right from the start...but who to put up against her? I listened to a lot of versions of 'Silent Night', most fairly obscure (mainly because I already knew the popular ones wouldn't stand up to MJ). Then I found Sinead.

Three of you stated outright that you really weren't a fan of Sinead (interesting that all three of you did vote for her) for various reasons. She certainly is NO stranger to controversy, from her shaved head to her religious and political commentary. She announced to the world that she suffered from mental illness and goes out in public to prove it. Her music tends toward the edgy and downright strange, BUT sometimes she seems to let her Spirit free and that is when her voice soars. I think that happens here on 'Silent Night'. (I must admit that the only other song of hers that I think this happens with  is 'One More Day' - The Funeral Song. You can check it out at YouTube. BTW, it was the inspiration for a very moving scene in one of my stories - maybe I'll tell you about it one day.)

I DO like both of these version, BUT my vote goes to Mahalia Jackson. I grew up hearing her music and it never fails to move me at the very foundation of my being. She believes it, she lives it, and you know it, when she sings it. This woman knows Jesus Christ on a very personal level. I can feel that in my soul.

In the end my vote isn't enough to give this BATTLE to Mahalia. The final tally is:

                                        Mahalia Jackson     4 votes

                                         Sinead O'Connor 10 votes

Finally, I want to leave you with a song that kind of embodies my Christmas Battle of the Bands. If you've been coming around here for more than the past six months, you know that I spent the last three Christmas' in the Caribbean. Down in de land of de blue waters, they sing everything with a little different beat. At first it was strange to me and then I kind of got used to it. This Christmas, although I DO love the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, I find that I miss the music of the Caribbean a little bit. So here is Miss Gladys Knight with a Caribbean version of 'Silent Night/O Holy Night'.


I don't plan to make an appearance here in this space again until after Christmas so I want to wish each and everyone of you the Merriest Christmas, and extend my prayer that you remember the Reason for the Season. I also want to thank you for your continued support of this dumb blonde who might be able to read music, but still doesn't know exactly where the commas go.

Come back on January 1, 2014, when I'll start the New Year off with another BATTLE OF THE BANDS!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Can you believe it? Only TEN days until Christmas. I love Christmas. I have to admit that  when it gets down to the wire, like this, I'm the biggest kid in the house. On Christmas Eve I can't get to sleep, I'm so excited for the morning. No matter how old I get the wonder of waking up and seeing all the presents under the tree and the stockings stuffed to the brim and spilling over, is something I look forward to for three hundred and sixty-four days. I especially love to see the faces of the little ones when they first set eyes on the tree.

We used to have a tradition in our house that Santa decorated the tree. On Christmas Eve we would set it up in the house, fill the stand with water, and then go to bed. In the morning not only would Santa have left presents (for those of us who had been good), but he also put all the lights and ornaments on the tree. Yeah, we didn't enjoy our tree for weeks before Christmas (and Santa didn't get much sleep), but it really made Christmas morning all the more magical.

This year I've added a new tradition; BATTLE OF THE BANDS. A few months ago when Mr. McCarthy talked me into doing this on a regular basis, I never figured that it would last this long or gather so much attention. This is Battle X and it has grown to six full time participants with a few of you dropping in every so often with your own BATTLES. Some of you gather a lot more votes than I do, but I really appreciate all who have come by regularly to view and vote on my choices for BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

Anyway...let's get on with it.  I had so many ideas of great Christmas songs it was hard to narrow it down to just two for this month. I originally was going to go with one sacred type song (hymn) and one of the more secular (popular-childlike) tunes, but at the last minute I changed my mind.

For this BATTLE I decided to go with the 'Queen Mother' of all  Christmas Carols. SILENT NIGHT. There are so many versions to choose from and after listening to what feels like hundreds, I have to admit that while I like some more than others, there is no way to really mess this wonderful song up. I've decided to go with two versions that are a tiny bit more obscure. One is a beautiful nod to a good friend (you know who you are) and the other an appropriate opponent. I'll let you listen, and see if you can determine why I choose to pit these two women against each other. 
First, sit back and close your eyes, then give you  heart and mind over to this version of Silent Night by Mahalia Jackson. 

For my second choice, I give you another singular voice, Sinead O'Connor. Another version best listened to through your heart.

Both these women sing without a lot of musical fanfare and no backup, but each lifts her voice in a clear decisive reverent hymn. Maybe neither is your very favorite version, but none the less these are my choices for BOTB X. Please cast your votes and let me know your reasons.

One more thought from me: Like 'O Holy Night' (my choice for BOTB IX), this songs speaks to my heart at this time of year. For me Christmas is both a Holy and Silent Night, when I hear the whisperings of the Spirit most clear.

I'll see you back here on the 21st, with my choice, your winner, and a SPECIAL CHRISTMAS TUNE, just for you guys. Now go on out there and check on the other participants starting with Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends the home of my partner in this particular crime, Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy (I'm sure he will publish the links to the other regular participants. You guys know me - far to cyber challenged to do that, this early in the morning). Everyone else posting a battle leave a comment to that effect and a link if possible, so everyone who stops by here can visit you also.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Surprised to see me back so soon. Well today a group of bloggers are roasting this bird


OOPS! Sorry wrong Bird. We're actually roasting this Bird.

You see today is Cheerfest 2.0. for more details and to check out the Linky List showing all the other bloggers enlisted to give Mr. Bird a good 'basting' you'll have to take a trip to Hawaii and visit Mark Koopmans

Cheerfest has a few rules, and since you all know I would never break the rules (Ha, ha, ha!) let's get started.

FIRST, there are four questions that we are asked to answer with respect to Mr. Arlee Bird:

1.  Why did Lee come up with the A-Z Challenge? 
        I dunno, maybe to make us all (more) crazy!

2.  If someone dreams about being a juggler what does it mean?
        Maybe that they like to keep all their balls up in the air.

3.  Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?
        Usually I decline answering 'bush' questions but since you asked, a post by Mr. Bird is worth a certain amount of controversy and at least, a partridge in a pear tree. 

4.  Who would play Lee in a documentary?
         Definitely Brad Pitt. I would love to explain my reasoning, but we are only allowed +/- 20 words for each answer, so I'll have to leave it to your imagination.

SECOND, we're supposed to write a piece of FLASH FICTION using the following prompts:.


Oh, BTW this piece of FLASH FICTION is not supposed to exceed 100 words (HA, ha, ha!)

Well here goes +/- a few 100 words (You know me!).

'It was a cold and stormy night. Absolutely nobody should be on the road on a night like this, let alone this solitary traveler. The wind was whipping and TOSSING his thin BROWN JACKET like some crazed JUGGLER who was somewhat vertically CHALLENGEd. The mournful cry of a night BIRD startled this lone sojourner, so he sought refuge at the first farmhouse where light burst forth from each window.

A firm rap on the door and it flew open to reveal the most beautiful woman our traveler had ever seen. Being a man of humble means he begged shelter in the barn and was granted such. In the middle of the night a soft song was heard...'

Well, I'm over 100 words there, so again you'll have to use your imagination

THIRD, we are supposed to 'caption this picture:

             'Another fine, upstanding, young man gone wrong by the evils of circus life.'

Well there you have it. A fine roasting, toasting, roller coasting for that man about town the debonair Mr. Arlee Bird!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Time to announce the winner of BATTLE OF THE BANDS IX.

I have to tell you, I was surprised by all of the 'Celine hate' exposed in this BATTLE. Wow! Even the two of you who voted for her had a somewhat negative side to your comment. On the other hand, almost without exception everyone of you seemed to think this was a very special song. I definitely agree with you there.

I find it interesting that when you start to look up Christmas music is seems that Bing Crosby has covered just about every song out there from the spiritual to the secular. He does have a nice mellow tone that lends itself easily to so many of these great songs. I'm also fond of most of his old movies (where BTW he so often seemed to play a priest - or it that simply what he's most remembered for) it just isn't Christmas until I've sat down and watched 'White Christmas. He certainly was popular in this particular BATTLE.

Now to Celine. More than once someone expressed the feeling that Celine was just showing off what her voice could do.  I think someone even called it 'voice acrobatics'. On one hand I have to agree with you, but on the other I have to say; 'if you've got it, flaunt it'. What a shame  it would be if she didn't expose us  everything marvelous pipes can do. I suppose the same people who think she's showing off her assets, also think that Dolly Parton should wear nothing but muumuus so as not to her assets. Anyway...

Personally I've never been a big Celine fan. I only own one CD of hers ('These are Special Times', her Christmas album) and that was a gift. I never understood what all the fuss was about. I really didn't think she was so great that a special room was built in Las Vegas especially for her to perform in, but she sure did pack em in. BUT, in this BATTLE she gets my vote. Everything about this piece just shouts praise to me. It seems this is the way these Christmas hymns should be presented. Now don't get me wrong I also enjoy Bing's straight forward more mellow version, but in this case I think Celine's flaunting of her vocal range lends itself perfectly to this stirring melody and words of adoration. In then end even with my vote the totals are strongly in favor of Mr.  Crosby:       

        Bing Crosby     10 votes
        Celine Dion        3 votes (including mine)

It would seem that you guys are more the straight forward, mellow types. Well this was one of those times when there really wasn't a 'wrong' vote. How could there be with such a beautiful song.

Now check out some of the other sites to see how the voting went on their BATTLES. And come on back on the 15th for BATTLE OF THE BANDS X and some more Christmas Cheer!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


That quote just about sums up my personal feelings on insecurity lately. While I admit that I have had a hard time putting my butt in the chair and writing, I have been working on several projects in my head. I think I'm finally ready to attack the keyboard.

When I copied that little quote above it was linked to a blog written by Marc Chernoff. The blog title is 'Marc and Angel Hack Life or Practical Tips for Productive Living'. Marc had a list of eight reasons not to NEED the approval of others.  Since I think they are pretty interesting I would like to share them with you.

You only get one life to pursue the dreams that make you come alive

Someone else's approval is just another opinion

The only opinion that really matters is you own

Some people will never give you their approval anyway

Everyone's journey and perspective on life is totally different

First hand experience is often necessary for personal growth

Your intuition requires no approval

Life is too short to wait any longer

I can't say that I agree with Marc 100% on every point but some of them are right on the money. When it comes to writing in the world today, with the opportunities to self-publish, the approval of agents, editors, and the establishment is not so necessary other than to massage our egos. Sometimes it's more important to tell your stories, than to get recognition for them.

I for one am taking all of this to heart and planning of beginning 2014 with a positive attitude. It is my intention to finish up the edits on my current story and try to sell it. I have another idea that has been percolating for some time now, and I think it's time to get that one down on the screen. Finally, my first story 'Far Away Eyes' has been the stuff that is making up my dreams - I think that one wants to be reworked and see the light of day.

BTW - I think Marc's suggestions about overcoming our need for approval are pretty darn good for basic day to day life, no matter what your passion may be. That reminds me of another quote 'Whatever you are, be a good one.'- (attributed to A. Lincoln)

This is my final post for the year 2013 with the Insecure Writer's support Group. To learn more about this group or to read what some other Insecure Writer's have to say please go to The Source , click on the icon and check out some of the other posts (last I checked there were about 300 members).

Sunday, December 1, 2013


December 1, 2013; can you believe it? Only twenty-four more days til Christmas. I can hardly wait. I love Christmas. When I was a child I used to spend hours laying under the Christmas tree playing with the Nativity Set. I wanted desperately to spend the night sleeping under the tree but my mother would never let me. Anyway…

This month should prove to be the best BATTLE OF THE BANDS yet, because I figure almost everyone participating with be doing Christmas songs. I know for sure that I will and Mr. McCarthy has already stated his intention to do the same. Based on some of the other participants, I’ll bet they will also. (I am wondering if Todd Rundgren did a Christmas album.)

Well, what do ya say we get this Christmas party started. There are so many great songs to choose from, I really had a hard time, but I’m going to start with one of my favorite Christmas Hymns. ‘O Holy Night’. 

First a little history:
"O Holy Night" ("Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed byAdolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) byPlacide Cappeau (1808–1877). Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet, had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem.[1] Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight,[2]editor of Dwight's Journal of Music, created a singing edition based on Cappeau's French text in 1855. In both the French original and in the two familiar English versions of the carol, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity's redemption. (courtesy of wikipedia)

I thought I would let the lady go first. Perhaps you'll recognize her.

Next up, the iconic gentleman Mr. Bing Crosby.

Alright, you guys know how this works. Cast your votes and tell me why. Then visit everyone else participating. Start with the Handsome and Dashing Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy at Ferret Faced Fascist Freinds, then check out that traveling man Mr. Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out. Finally, check the comment box at each site to see who else might decide to jump on the sleigh ride this month.
If you hadn’t heard we fulfilled the first contest with the November 15th BOTB and C.W. Martin was our winner. Mr. McCarthy and I are changing the contest up a bit. It will be more random and give everyone a better chance to win, but you will need to stay tuned for the details on some future post.
I’ll be lookin’ towards your comments and votes.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Here we are at the day you’ve all been waiting for. NO, not that horrid shop till you drop, punch em, kick, em, do what it takes to get the sale price day. It’s the day we announce the winners of the first round of BATTLE OF THE BANDS.
If you remember, or if you read the rules, the person who voted the most at the three participating sites {Far Away Series, Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends and tossing It Out} would be the winner. In the case of a tie, Mr. McCarthy devised a highly scientific method to determine the winner.

Holy Moly! We had a four way tie. The finalists were C. W. Martin, Disconnected, Luckymama13, and Robin. Utilizing his ‘highly scientific method’ Mr. McCarthy was finally able to determine the winner.

Congratulations C.W. Martin. If you will get in touch with the ‘Contest Master” , Mr. McCarthy and give him your selection we will see that you CD of choice is speeding it’s way towards your home soon.

That’s it folks. A winner has been chosen. Don’t forget to return on Sunday, December 1 for the next round of BATTLE OF THE BANDS. The criteria for winning the next contest is going to change a little and become a teeny bit more random. Stay turned and sometime soon we’ll ‘splain it to ya.

Monday, November 25, 2013


A few weeks ago I received an invitation to a party. It was a special 'Blog' party hosted by Al Diaz, you might know him as Father Dragon. It was a little bit mysterious, but I was informed that I and a whole list of other bloggers were invited to his his special guest on November 24th. Never one to pass up a party, I marked it on my calendar and planned to attend.

Now, let me tell you a little about what has been running through my head the past few months. I've seriously been thinking about closing down my blog. I often feel as though I'm shouting into the wind. I've felt particularly unfunny, 'dumb', and even more grammatically challenged than normal. My comments have fallen off and I have not had the time, energy, or enthusiasm to visit some of the blogs I have been highly entertained by in the past. Add to all of this ongoing computer glitches, and I've had a hard time planting my butt in the chair at my desk. Frankly, if I had not gotten so into the bi-monthly Battle of the Bands contest, I would have been long gone.

Anyway...yesterday I did attend Father Dragon's blog party. You can check it out , if you like at The Dragon Cave This was to celebrate his one year anniversary in blog land, and to do that he decided to celebrate his friends. It was a wonderful experience. I quite literally had tears running down my face reading the post and that was even before he mentioned anyone, including me, in particular. Al said some really nice things about everyone invited. The things he said about me, made me stop and think that maybe, at lease for one or two small seconds, I'm not just shouting into the wind. Maybe every so often although I might not be very smart, funny, articulate or even very interesting, I blab on enough that I say something that touches someone else's heart. Can you really ask for anything more than that? I can't.

Here's the award Al gave to me along with all of his other blog friends and what he has to say about it:

"I offer you, my Guests of Honor, the Golden Scale Award. An honorable promise is required in order to take it, though.  Displaying the Golden Scale Award on your blogs implies that you've promised to become your own hero. It means you won't wait for any special thing to happen so you can be happy (i.e. when I get this or that I'll be happy; when I no longer suffer this or that, I'll be happy).

The Golden Scale Award is not for the things you did, but for the things you'll be doing to be happy on daily basis. It's for the courage you promise to show when facing adversity. The determination you promise to have when standing for your dreams and for what you believe in. It's the wisdom of knowing life is sometimes way too difficult but overcoming those difficulties is the only way to grow into a better person and to learn something. We face our fears to find ourselves and our own worth.

There is no wisdom without experience, and knowledge is empty without wisdom. Accepting this award means you are willing to work hard to start working miracles in your own life. I want to make clear I am not suggesting you stop believing on a High Power. I believe too. I am just inviting you to take responsibility of your life, like I did, and release all your true potential.

This promise I ask of you is not to me, but to yourselves. I won't know if you keep it or not. I will go on with my life and fight my own battles, seeking to win my personal wars. But if there is any kind of Father Dragon's essence I can give you, this is it. It's up to you to take it or leave it."

I'm a big believer in personal responsibility. I do believe that LIFE IS FAIR, but sometimes you have to wait around for a while until the good things come to you (sometimes it isn't even in this lifetime). I don't always like them, but I do accept the consequences of my actions. So, Father Dragon with extreme gratitude I accept this award and the challenge that goes along with it.

I do want to take this time to say that I have many special blog friends, some who are very dear to me (You know who you are!)and have seen me through a lot and continue to do so. Many of them know just what an ornery curmudgeon I can be, and don't give me awards, dedications, or publicly say all those flowery things, but please know that I appreciate you just as much if not more, and only hope that I have made even the smallest difference (in a good way, of course) in your lives.

As Thanksgiving approaches I realize just how much I have to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Once again I owe all of my readers and commenters an apology. It's my policy to at the very least, visit everyone who comments here at my site. Well, as most of you know, that didn't happen this past week. Between me trying to figure out the operating system on this computer, and it's basic incompatibility with 'google" (it doesn't seem to recognize a whole lot of your blog addresses) and the fact that I have been dealing with a taxing family crisis - I was a major slacker. I promise to do better in the future.

Anyway... I bet you're all anxious to see who I'm voting for in this last BATTLE OF THE BANDS contest and see the overall results. So, let's get to it.

I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of either Bobby Darin or his number one song 'Mack the Knife'. This particular BATTLE was suggested to me and I had to give it some serious consideration. I did fall in love with Louie Armstrong's version and that's where my vote is going. Next, I do want to say that after doing some research on Bobby and listening to more of his music I gained a whole new appreciation for the man. He was a very talented individual and was a lot more diverse that I had previously given him credit for. But, I still have a great big 'what was he thinking' when he tried to crossover into the hippie/folk/troubadour style.

Satchmo, on the other hand can seem to do NO WRONG. He takes a piece of music no matter the genre and makes it his own. I have one other favorite of his that I plan on using somewhere along the line in a future BATTLE, for for now I'm gonna let him rest on his laurels.

The final tally including my vote was -

                                             Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong 10 votes

                                             Bobby Darin 6 votes

Not at all how I expected this BATTLE to go. I was pretty sure Ole Bobby would run away with this one. Just goes to show what I know. Absolutely nothing!

Now head on over to Tossing It Out the home of Arlee Bird and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends the home of Stephen T. McCarthy and see who won their contests.

This marks the end of round one in the 'Official Contest' stay turned for a post at all three sites announcing the winner, sometime before the 1st of December.

Come back on the 1st of December where I will be posting a new BATTLE OF THE BANDS with my favorite; Christmas Music!

My 'family crisis' hasn't completely resolved itself, so just in case I don't make it back here before the 1st of December - I wish all of you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving. I truly am thankful for all of you, who so faithfully have returned time and time again to read the ramblings of this dumb blonde.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Ta Da! It's the fifteenth of the month AGAIN, ALREADY! You know what that means don't ya? It's time for another BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

Time sure flies when you're fighting with a new computer operating system that you have no idea who to drive having fun. Ah well, you guys know me. This dumb blonde and Windows 8 = a mild computer meltdown.

So whaddaya say we just get on with the BATTLE. But first a little info on the song I've choosen for you today 'Mack the Knife'. Think this is a toe tappin', finger snappin' kind of song. Well, just in case you never actually listened closely to the lyrics, read on and learn yerself somthin'. OK, I have no idea why this dumb machine bright and shiny new piece of crap computer won't print this in my signature blue, but we'll be here until 2020, if don't just type on.

The Threepenny Opera

A moritat (from mori meaning "deadly" and tat meaning "deed") is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (who was in turn based on the historical thief Jack Sheppard). The Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister, and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero.

The play opens with the moritat singer comparing Macheath (unfavorably) with a shark, and then telling tales of his robberies, murders, rapes, and arson.

The song was a last minute addition, inserted just before its première in 1928, because Harald Paulsen, the actor who played Macheath, demanded that Brecht and Weill add another number that would more effectively introduce his character.[1] However, Weill and Brecht decided the song should not be sung by Macheath himself, opting instead to write the song for a street singer in keeping with the moritat tradition. At the première, the song was sung by Kurt Gerron, who played Police Chief Brown. Weill also intended the Moritat to be accompanied by a barrel organ, which was to be played by the singer.[2] At the premiere, though, the barrel organ failed, and the pit orchestra (a jazz band) had to quickly provide the accompaniment for the street singer. [3]

"Mack the Knife" was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956, but the song is most closely associated with Bobby Darin, who recorded his version at Fulton Studios on West 40th Street, New York City, on December 19, 1958 (with Tom Dowd engineering the recording). In 1959 Darin's version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Black Singles chart, and earned him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record the song because of the perception that, having come from an opera, it wouldn't appeal to the rock & roll audience. In subsequent years, Clark recounted the story with good humor. Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his "L.A. Is My Lady" album, called Darin's the "definitive" version. Darin's version hit #3 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[7] In 2003, the Darin version was ranked #251 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, pop mogul Simon Cowell named "Mack the Knife" the best song ever written.

The song has been parodied many times. Steve Martin parodied "Mack the Knife" in his opening monologue to the premiere of Saturday Night Live's third season in 1977. In the mid-1980s, McDonald's introduced Mac Tonight, a character whose signature song was based on "Mack the Knife." American political parodists the Capitol Steps used the tune for their song "Pack the Knife" on their 2002 album When Bush Comes to Shove. (courtesy of Wikipedia - if you can believe them)

Alrighty then. As finger tappin' and toe snappin' as this song might be, it certainly leans to the morbid side of silly. I especially like the idea of the 'Mac Tonight' parody, which BTW was mentioned to me yesterday while discussing this BOTB with a friend.

Well, here they are the two 'originals' (as least according to Wikipedia).

First up Satchmo, or Mr. Louis Armstrong:

Next Mr. Sandra Dee or I mean Bobby Darin:

Now, without a moments hesitation hurry on over to Tossing It Out the home of the inquisitive and controversial Mr. Arlee Bird and Ferret Faced Fascist Friends the home of that 'That Man About Town with an Ace up his Sleeve', Mr. Stephen t. McCarthy, and see what they have cooked up for us in their Battle of the Bands numero ocho!

Check out the comment section for other participants and those of you participating leave a comment to direct others to your site - come on now, just do it, don't be shy.

Just realized that because I'm on a stupid new new and improved computer, I can't easily publish the rules to the official contest, but I'm trusting that Mr. McCarthy will have them up on his blog - please go over there for a quick review.

Now vote and let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Well we have a first in these BATTLE OF THE BANDS contests. A SHUT-OUT. Every single vote cast was for the Glenn Miller version of 'Moonlight Serenade'. It doesn't really matter how I vote, but just so ya know (like that would have been hard for you to figure out after my introduction), I also cast my vote for Glenn Miller. That makes the final talley.

Glen Miller and his Orchestra 15 votes

Chicago 0

There was more than one comment about the lyrics. I admit that the Chicago version might have been better if they simply went with the in strumental version, but there is an interesting little bit of trivia about the tune and surrounding the lyrics:

The recording used a clarinet-led saxophone section, which is widely considered[citation needed] the classic Glenn Miller style. Miller studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger,[3] who is credited with helping Miller create the "Miller sound", and under whose tutelage he himself composed "Moonlight Serenade".[4]

The song evolved from a 1935 version entitled "Now I Lay Me Down to Weep", with music by Glenn Miller and lyrics by Eddie Heyman to a version called "Gone with the Dawn" with lyrics by George Simon,[5] and "The Wind in the Trees" with lyrics by Mitchell Parish. In his biography of Glenn Miller, George T. Simon recounted how vocalist Al Bowlly of the Ray Noble Orchestra sang him the Eddie Heyman lyrics to the Glenn Miller music of "Now I Lay Me Down to Weep" in 1935. The Noble Orchestra never recorded the song. Finally it ended up as "Moonlight Serenade" because Robbins Music bought the music and learned that Miller was recording a cover of "Sunrise Serenade", a Frankie Carle associated song [2], for RCA Victor. They thought "Moonlight" would be a natural association for "Sunrise".[6]

"Now I Lay Me Down to Weep" was composed in 1935 with lyrics by Eddie Heyman and music by Glenn Miller. After "Moonlight Serenade", originally released solely as an instrumental, became a smash hit in 1939, Mitchell Parish wrote new lyrics for the music under that title.
(This note is courtesy of Wikikpedia, but had the reference to the Glenn Miller style had previously been made by Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy in his very first BOTB)

When I found that information on Wikipedia I thought; 'Mitchell Parish, that name sounds familiar', and sure enough he also complosed the lyrics for another 'old standard'; 'Stardust'; music written by Hogey Carmichael. Apparently, Mr. Parish was a noted lyricist of his time, known for adding words to beautiful haunting melodies.

I'll have to agree with most of you that this is one of the most haunting melodies I've ever heard. Pure Romance!

Just for fun here is a version of 'Moonlight Serenade' sung by the lovely Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

Now go on over to Ferret Faced Fascist Freinds The home of Mr.  Stephen T. McCarthy and Tossing It Out The home of Mr. Arlee Bird and see how their BATTLES turned out. Also, check out anyone else who participated in Battle VII.

I simply can't help myself. Last night after I finished watching a video I flipped on the TV. The local cable company (cable is included with my rent) recently just caught my landlord with an illegal connection, changed things over and I now only have the very basic of cable - read the basic networds and every shopping channel known to man, also three Spanish language channels. Anyway, there wasn't much on, but the CMA's (Country Music Awards). I really like Country Music, so I thought I would watch.

Holy Carp! What have they done to Country Music. I was assaulted, treated to hip hop and even some rap; sung by guys with baseball caps on backwards and enough facial armour (piercings) to set off a metal detector a mile away. Thank Goodness for a tribute to George Jones done by Alan Jackson and George Strait (who BTW, looked like Country Music performers from their jeans on up to the Stetsons on their heads) or I would have been sure this was some kind of joke.

At least the voters (Country Music performers) had the good sense to award George Strait the 'Entertainer of the Year' award. Upon reflection, I suppose some of these new guys with the backward baseball caps, facial armour, and tattoos are just the new 'outlaws' of country Music, but I wouldn't be surprised if Johnny, Waylon and Merle not to mention a few others, are rolling in their graves.

Now, please don't hate me because I like a little 'twang' with my Country Music. I seem to have offended a lot of folks lately and I don't mean to do that, but I still want my Cowboys back. Oh man, what must Roy (Rogers) and Gene (Autry) be thinking?

I'm still working on an unfamiliar computer, so I hope I've made sense and the errors aren't too great.