Baby It’s Cold Outside – The Outrage Police Slip on a Banana Peel

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)

I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)

This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)

So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)

My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)

Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)

When I heard about this tempest in a teacup the first thing I did was put the phrase “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on my Christmas Card title.  This song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 to be sung as a duet with his wife at parties.  If the comparatively restrained adults of the greatest generation and the one before were adult enough to understand that the song implied a flirtatious game between consenting adults then you can only assume that the present-day adults must be pulling our legs when they claim outrage at this song.  These are the same people who watch jadedly as their alleged entertainers twerk their carcasses across the stage and screen.  This is a generation that will sanctify any form of abomination as their state sanctified privilege and parade it down the street frightening animals and small children in the process.  These are people who ventilate their faces with rings and metal studs and treat their epidermis as if were an urban surface in need of a good coat of grafitti.  Some of these folks are willing to castrate and mutilate themselves to satisfy a sense of ennui and we are supposed to believe that a popular Christmas song from the 1940s is too much for their delicate sensibilities.

Well I’ve got news for them.  These people don’t have mothers and fathers who worry and pace the floor.  In fact, most of their parents would probably be thrilled to death if they thought that their daughters were with a man at all and if he were a man that could be even nominally mistaken for a man from this song’s era they’d shake his hand and ask him to stick around for New Year’s Eve.  The prospect of a normal heterosexual relationship that leads to marriage and children is becoming like some kind of UFO sighting, dubious and extremely rare.

The only consolation from this whole thing is the knowledge that these people are self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool and leaving the field open for people with a little bit of normal instinct to have a family.  And for those people and especially for their parents, this song is a mild reminder that men and women have a dance that we go through to recognize each other.  It’s as common in the animal kingdom as can be.  Peacocks and roosters strut.  Fighting fish flash their colors.  Lizards find a prominent rock to sit on and puff out their throats.  The females play hard to get and the males wheedle and sometimes snort at them.  But it’s a dance that both sides recognize.  And if any of the individuals in the population don’t recognize or know how to respond to the dance then they get left out and they disappear from the gene pool.

So good luck to anyone who listens to the outrage police and forgets why we have the dance.  If you’re not on the inside then baby that’s when it really is cold outside.

Rebuilding from the Ground Up – Part 2

Rebuilding from the Ground Up – Part 1

 

As the results of one of my recent website polls reminded me, opinions differ about what the future will bring for our country and world.  Some people think that we are irrevocably moving down the path that will put an end to the things that made the United States a great nation.  They say that our culture and the freedoms that are built into our Constitution will be swept aside and we will end up in a banana republic that resembles the condition of Brazil.  Other people contend that a revolution either more or less violent will achieve a division of the country into a Red State model and a Blue State one.  And some believe that we will be able to regroup from our differences and patch things together.

Honestly, I don’t know which, if any, of these scenarios will occur.  I’m not even sure anybody actually knows.  What I am sure is that the old way of life and the things it stood for are under continual attack from the Progressives.  And they are succeeding to a great extent in destroying the culture that has existed in this country and made it great.  They are eliminating all the concepts and behaviors from American life.  The three biggest weapons in this effort are the entertainment industry, the schools and the corporate America.  They are using these forces to shape the images that children and young adults see all around them and convince them that it is the only acceptable choice.  By subtle and not so subtle imagery they are showing children how they must think about sex roles and even the definition of men and women.  They are preaching the globalist doctrine that says that national identity and patriotism are social constructs that have no place in the modern world and thinking otherwise is a hate crime.

The first thing that needs to be done is locating and preserving all the remnants from the earlier time.  Books, movies, pictures and study aids that can be used to show the younger people what used to be the normal world need to be identified and made available to families to allow them to undo some of the damage.  I’m making it a point to review and recommend any books or movies that have value.  At some point I intend to put together a curriculum for different age groups that will both inform and entertain.

The next effort will be to organize into local groups to provide support and fellowship for people on the right.  These can be anything from hobbies to social events to sports to political activities.  It can even extend to religious and educational organizations that provide resources for families who don’t feel they can utilize the existing local groups.  Over time it is hoped that these groups can replace the existing institutions that have become debased by the culture at large.  I guess it could be hoped that some of these organizations could be reformed but I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

But as I said above, preserving the knowledge of the better times is first.  If anyone has a recommendation about a book, music or a movie or some other thing like a website or an on-line course, or even a business that deals in things that need to be preserved then, pass it along.

It Was Midnight on the Ocean, not a Streetcar Was in Sight

My longtime readers may remember me mentioning my maternal grandfather.  He was the one who took on the pseudonym Charlie Young and lied about his age in order to enlist for World War One.  He was an extremely colorful character who was a cop in New York City during the first half of the twentieth century.  Toward his own children he was the typical autocratic Italian American man.  But toward his grandchildren he was like a big kid.  He brought us out for hamburgers and ice cream and whatever else he could think of.  He would tell us stories of the old days. Some of them quite remarkable.  And whenever things got quiet, he’d sing some variation of a song that we thought he had just made up.  It would usually go something like this,

“It was midnight on the ocean

Not a streetcar was in sight

Me and my old friend (fill in the name of a particular grandson)-boy

Were eating by the candle light

When along came a big whale

And washed us all away

Then grandma came along and saved the day.”

Now this song varied by the identity of the grandchild and the details of the trip we were on.  But it was mostly along these lines.  And to a little kid who was out on a fun car ride and getting fast food hamburgers and ice cream it was Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.  Well my grandfather’s been gone about thirty five years and about ten years ago it occurred to me to try to find the lyrics to his little poem on the internet.  And what do you know?  It turns out it’s an old English nonsense poem.  And more to the point a song was made out of it by an American country singer named Harry McClintock back in the 1920s called Ain’t We Crazy (catch the words at the 1:00 mark of the song).

Well, at the time the song was only available as part of an imported music collection that cost $600 so I couldn’t buy it then.  But this week I found it on an inexpensive album on Amazon and got it.  It turns out McClintock also has a song that ended up on the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack (Big Rock Candy Mountain).  I guess he’s not as obscure as I thought.

I sent the above link to my siblings and cousins and many of them have the same fond memories that I have of this little ritual my grandfather had.  I think I will adopt it with my grandchildren.  Of course, I’ll have to personalize it for each of them but that’s half of the fun of it anyway.  And while I’m at it I’ll tell them stories about their great-great-grandfather Charlie Young who went off to war as a very young doughboy and shot it out with 1920s gangsters from the running board of a speeding car.  They’ll probably think it’s as crazy as the song.

Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around – A Country Music Review

Strictly speaking this isn’t purely a country music album.  Johnny Cash does covers of popular music from from sources varying from modern musicians like Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode to Simon and Garfunkle to the Beatles.  But Johnny Cash is a country singer and I liked some of the songs very much so…

I’m not an enormous Johnny Cash fan.  I have several of his albums and like a number of his songs but I don’t love everything he’s done.  This album was done in the last year of his life and his voice is frayed by his age and illness.  But it is distinctively Johnny Cash and he is able to use the broken quality of his voice to great advantage on several of the more soulful songs.  It is an interesting experience hearing a man who knows he’s dying singing songs that he has selected to sing before he’s gone.

The first cut and the subtitle for the album is “The Man Comes Around.”  It’s a song Cash wrote and it’s about Judgement Day.  Revelations is quoted at the beginning and end of the song and I find it extremely stirring.  I’d say it’s the high point of the album.

I’ll confess I don’t particularly care for his interpretation of most of the recent songs he covered.  “Hurt,” “Personal Jesus” and “First Time Ever I saw Your Face.”  None of these renditions particularly appealed to me.  Possibly because the songs themselves don’t particularly appeal to me.  “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “In My Life” were better but neither was extraordinary.

I enjoyed much more his take on the western songs, “I Hung My Head,” ”Sam Hall,” “Desperado,” and especially “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and “Streets Of Laredo.”

And the last song on the album is very interesting.  It’s “We’ll Meet Again.”  Older folks may remember it was a 1939 song and a 1943 movie linked to war-time Britain and the longing that the soldiers and loved ones left behind felt for each other.  Johnny Cash is clearly talking about the afterlife and meeting up with loved ones (especially his departed wife).  That song is quite effective.

I guess I would recommend this album to Johnny Cash fans and for fans of country and western music.  And I think the song “When the Man Comes Around,” will resonate with anyone on the right, living in these apocalyptic times.

That Lonesome Song by Jamey Johnson – A Country Music Review

I only first heard of Jamey Johnson when he had his most commercial song on the Billboards back in 2008, “In Color.”  I enjoyed that song and because at the time all my music was coming off the top 40 country radio stations I never heard anything else by him.  By 2010 I was starting to look for better stuff than the radio provided so I bought his album “That Lonesome Song” (and a couple of his other albums) to see what he was all about.  What I found out is he is a very good song writer and has an interesting singing voice.

Most of his songs are about the darker side of life and love.  His characters are men suffering through loneliness, disfunction, addiction and loss.  Even the couple of comical songs are about broken relationships.  “In Color” is the exception.  Although the song chronicles the fearful existence through the Great Depression and WW II it ends on a very high note.  But there are several songs on the album that even though full of sadness and regret are undoubtedly very good.  I’m sure in a group of songs this varied, there will be one or two that don’t click for every listener and that list will vary due to the variety in listeners.  But my opinion is that this is an excellent country album.  My favorites are

  1. “High Cost of Living”
  2. “Place Out on the Ocean
  3. “In Color”
  4. “The Last Cowboy”
  5. “Dreaming My Dreams”
  6. “Between Jennings and Jones”

I will also qualify my recommendation of this album by saying that if someone doesn’t like sad songs then this album won’t be for him.  Not every song is sad but this is definitely an album from the less sunny side of the street.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYGwxf1gCC4

Colter Wall’s Songs of the Plains – A Country Music Review

Last November I reviewed Colter Wall’s self-titled album.  To say I liked it would be a gross understatement.  It had such stand outs as Kate McCannon, Bald Butte and Fraulein.  But the whole album was worthy.  Colter has a new album and I got my copy yesterday.

This is a theme album that can best be described as a country western celebration of the Great Plains.  Colter is from the Canadian Plains and he concentrates on Canada but he does include a ballad to Wild Bill Hickock.  I’ll list the tracks followed by a short comment or two.

In addition, I’ll summarize that as a whole the album is a good traditional country western collection.  And it suits me.  Hopefully I’ll provide enough information for the reader to make up his mind.

The full track list to Colter Wall’s Songs of the Plains:

  1. “Plain to See Plainsman” (written by Colter Wall)

Straightforward acoustic guitar and harmonica western.  An ode to home on the great plains.

  1. “Saskatchewan In 1881” (written by Colter Wall)

Upbeat Canadian folk song with a touch of humor.  Where else could you find a rhyme like, “Don’t pick no fights with Mennonites?”

  1. “John Beyers (Camaro Song)” (written by Colter Wall)

This is a short little revenge song.  Very catchy and fun.

  1. “Wild Dogs” (written by Billy Don Burns)

This is a song by Billy Don Burns and it’s literally a song narrated by a wild dog about his life.  The music has some good spots but it’s not something I care for.

  1. “Calgary Round-Up” (written by Wilf Carter)

A western about a roundup jamboree.  You could easily imagine the Sons of the Pioneers singing this song.  It even has yodeling.

  1. “Night Herding Song” (Cowboy Traditional)

It sounds like a spiritual mixed with a lullaby for the cows.  Most of it is acapella.  I like it.

  1. “Wild Bill Hickok” (written by Colter Wall)

Western ballad chronicling Wild Bill’s life.  Well done.

  1. “The Trains are Gone” (written by Colter Wall)

A dirge to the changing world of the old west.  Kinda downbeat.

  1. “Thinkin’ on a Woman” (written by Colter Wall)

A song a bout a trucker brooding over a lost love.  Amusing enough.

  1. “Manitoba Man” (written by Colter Wall)

A cokehead bemoaning his fate and thinking about his next score.  Not my thing.

  1. “Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail” (Cowboy Traditional)

This is an upbeat western about two drunk cowboys tying, branding and knotting the devil’s tail.

Tyler Childers – Live on Red Barn Radio I & II – A Country Music Review

Regular readers know I’m a fan of Tyler Childers.  He’s a country singer-songwriter from Eastern Kentucky and he combines interesting vocals, his acoustic guitar playing, an excellent mix of country instrumental accompanists with his very creative lyrics.  I especially enjoy his ballads, a stand out being “Banded Clovis” on his “Purgatory” album.

The present review is of a live album from 2013.  The eight songs include two that were on other albums, namely “Whitehouse Road” from Purgatory and “Bottles and Bibles” from the album of the same name.  Listening to some of the other songs I would say you can tell that they come from an earlier period of his song-writing career.  They are simpler and less ambitious in terms of imagery and effect.  But they’re good and I take them as an excellent addition to my collection.  Interestingly two of the songs were written by other artists, “Rock Salt and Nails” by Bruce Utah Phillips and “Coming Down” by John R. Miller.  Now I guess I’ll be forced to look up their stuff.  How I suffer for my art.

Anyway, if you like Tyler Childers’ other stuff you’ll almost definitely like this live album.  Highly recommended.

High Top Mountain – Sturgill Simpson – A Country Music Review – Part 2

I ‘ve now had a chance to listen to High Top Mountain a good bit and I can say without a doubt that this is my favorite album by Sturgill Simpson.  And that’s because it’s country music.  He isn’t experimenting here with other genres and sounds.  It’s straight up classic country with plenty of energy, fun lyrics and excellent steel guitar.  For me the best songs are:

  • Life Ain’t Fair and the World is Mean
  • You Can Have the Crown
  • Sitting Here Without You
  • Time After All

But honestly, I think they’re all good.  Now how rare is that?  Most albums have three or four strong songs and the rest weak.  This album has twelve songs and they range from excellent to good.  They vary from ballads to up tempo rockabilly.  I’m just disappointed that his later albums don’t appeal to me as much.  Maybe these were all the country songs he wanted to make.  Well if that’s so, then I’m glad he made this album and that I found it.  I think it’s a keeper.

Panbowl – Sturgill Simpson – A Short Country Music Review

Yesterday I put up a post about Sturgill Simpson’s album Big Top Mountain.  I related how I had not loved his two other albums, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” and “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” but that on the former album I thought that the song Panbowl was extremely good.  This post is to expand on that comment.  One of the things that country music can do is tell a story.  In fact, I think that possibly the best country songs are the ones that do that best.  Panbowl seems to be an autobiographical remembrance of youth and family.  It feels to me like a completely heartfelt expression of anguish at the loss of the simple joys of being a child in a family.  He paints a vivid picture of an extended family that provided love and belonging and what it means to lose this.

Admittedly I am attracted to strong sentiment so that might be the reason I rate this song so highly, but I think many country music fans will think this is an excellent song.  In any case I consider it the best song of his I’ve heard and this is because it seems honest and describes something I think is admirable, love of family.  Check it out and see if you agree.