I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! To start this week's post, here is another gift to us from Pete, who tells me that this ad dates back all the way to a 1914 edition of Photoplay! Write in now - he even offers Free Criticism!!!
I know I featured Norm Burns fairly recently, but this record popped up on eBay recently, and I was more than a little intrigued by the title, and was very happy to come away from the auction as the winner. And so, I thought I'd share it all here with you, especially since the weather in much of my country has been so.... drafty recently.
You see, in the song "Ballad of the Green Machine", Ol' Norm, or, more specifically, his lyricist, Edward Carter, recently (in terms of the date of this record) faced the possibility of being drafted, and seems to have signed up willingly instead, if I follow the lyrics correctly, for a three year tour. And so, we get a longish (by song-poem standards - more than 3 1/2 minutes) trip through the soldiering experience.
While not as witty as Tom Lehrer's masterful tribute to the army - and if you haven't heard that, you really should - that's not really a fair comparison, as I'm not sure anyone's lived up to Lehrer on any subject he ever tackled. On it's own merits, this has a bit of dry wit to it, here and there, which I appreciate. And what's more, this is very likely also the only song-poem ever (and I'm willing to bet, one of the few songs of any type, ever) to make reference to Ptomaine Poisoning. I only wish it was a bit livelier - the tempo is really draggy.
Download: Norm Burns and the Five Stars: Ballad of the Green Machine
The flip side, "Just Drifting Along", does just that, and has very little that I find to appreciate. Your mileage may vary. I do get a weird kick out of the fact that they extended the song by going into a key change in the last several seconds, only to slowly fade the song out, with no further vocal, perhaps to drag the length over two minutes (yet still nearly 30 seconds fewer than what is listed on the label).
Download: Norm Burns and the Five Stars: Just Drifting Along