on sundays in the afternoons between 3 and 4 pm, around the time when I was crossing the bridge between naievété and teenage, i would play the radio. because i didn’t have too many tapes having acquired a music system after much pleading. and because they played good music. like all radio stations who have had the same DJ for years, there would be repeats. the following song would repeat itself very often, and i thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie expressed on the (ir)radiant substance that can wreak annihilation on to us.

Tom Lehrer, he sang, “we will all go together when we go!” To quote the little speech he gives before he actually begins singing:

“I am reminded at this point of a fellow I used to know who’s name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what an individualist he was he spelt it HEN3RY. The 3 was silent, you see. Henry was financially independent having inherited his father’s tar-and-feather business and was therefore able to devote his full time to such intellectual pursuits as writing. I particularly remember a heart-warming novel of his about a young necropheliac who finally achieved his boy-hood ambition by becoming coroner.

The rest of you can look it up when you get home. In addition to writing he indulged in a good deal of philosophizing. Like so many contemporary philosophers he especially enjoyed giving helpful advice to people who were happier than he was. One particular bit of advice which I recall, which is the reason I bring up this whole, dreary story is something he said once before they took him away to the Massachussetts state home for the bewilderd. He said: “Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” It’s always seems to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need in these trying times of crisis and universal broo-ha-ha, and so with this in mind I have here a modern positive dynamic uplifting song in the tradition of the great old revival hymns. This one might more accurately be termed a survival hymn.”

My favorite lines in the song, are an interesting fusion of cuisine with satire.

Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by.
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie,
Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

Down by the old maelstrom,
There’ll be a storm before the calm.

And we will all bake together when we bake.
There’ll be nobody present at the wake.
With complete participation
In that grand incineration,
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

I never forgot what rotisseries are after this song.

And yet another favorite song I found on the radioe was “A hole in the bucket“, which I now discover is a children’s song. Apparently, even Harry Belafonte covered this song. Sweet!

I wish some of the channels in loreland did something about the quality of music being played on the waves nowadays.


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