Friday, July 03, 2009
A Confusing Label
I get a big kick out of the label of the record I've put above this text. It's the only Tin Pan Alley record in my collection without an artist name (I'm fairly sure the singer is Mike Thomas). More to the point, what is listed seems to indicate that the song has the bulky, clunky title "What Do You Say Baby Beautiful Joyce", which also has the added benefit of sounding at best like a run-on sentence.
Perhaps it's meant to indicate a medley - this seems like the most likely explanation, as the singer doesn't get to the "Beautiful Joyce" part until the last 45 seconds or so. The only problem with that idea is that the performance sounds to me very much like a single song. It is, admittedly, not the most interesting of songs, but it has that Tin Pan Alley incompetence - missed guitar notes, a wobbly vocal, and some truly cringworthy lyrics ("what do you say, baby/to the picture I've painted/do you think it's quite okay?/hey, hey, hey"). Please enjoy:
And just in time for the Fourth of July, here's the flip side, "The Prisoner of War Song". This is a Viet Nam era song, which starts as a father directing the lyric in honor of a son who is serving his country, and is being held as a Prisoner of War. In the second verse, the lyric takes the first person voice of the prisoner himself. Simple and heartfelt, and the limited abilities of those involved actually seem to enhance the directness of the song and the message here: