Sunday, January 03, 2010

Don't ever try to milk a kipper

"When It's Night Time In Italy, It's Wednesday Over Here"

Why has this old song come at me from three directions today? Coincidentally (thanks, Bill), the Times reflects on how "All the Rules of the Music Business Have Been Remade" with some discussion of YouTube, mashups, MP3 players and more. On first reading, I don't see anything about the phenomenon I've run into lately -- musicians on the Web are competing with a century of recorded history, suddenly available to anyone who pokes into digitized collections of 78s at or scores of collector sites, or unlikely reappearances, re-reappearances, and flights to space (where the song popped into the plot of a science fiction radio series, no also online).

Is it that this 1924 song, needs no mashing, or is self-mashing? I noticed lines in the last verse, not included on some recording, that add what the scholar's might call "cultural/historical context" and might clarify some of the author's and original listeners' influences (as in "operating under...")

If there’s sunshine in Washington, what makes the moonshine dear?
When it’s night time in Italy, it’s Wednesday over here.

If you lay on a mattress, you’ll find that spring is near.
If you haven’t an appetite, just think of Paul Revere.
By the time that they pass a bill to bring back wine and beer,
It’ll be night-time in Italy and Wednesday over here.

Another attempt at lyrics, and another. And an instrumental version, in case you want to sing it yourself.