Wednesday, November 08, 2023

What's The Story?

It's Native American Heritage Month. 

There are certainly a plethora of reasons why its important that there is a Native American Heritage Month, and it would nice if the existence of this occasion was as publicized even a quarter as much as, say Black History Month, or even as much as that thing they do during the World Series when everyone holds up cards for people who fought cancer. 

But it doesn't get that attention. So here's an example from the world of the song-poem that demonstrates in its own small way one reason why it's important that there is a Native American Heritage Month. This record, "Hurry Up Old Man" by Bob Gerard, is certainly nowhere near the most egregious insult that the Native Americans have experienced. Undoubtedly not even the most egregious sin against them that took place in the year this record was made (1967 - the copyright listing is here). 

But it'll do. The co-opting of stereotypical (and no doubt inaccurate) "Indian" musical styles and the catchphrases and tossed-off references in the lyrics would, I'm sure, be insulting to many Natives. 

Beyond that, I honestly don't know what the story here is about. The sound quality of this record is abysmal, and I can't make out just enough words in the second verse to cause me to completely lose the thread of whatever story the songwriters - and it took three people to write this masterpiece, none of whom, oddly was label head Jack Covais, who often claimed a songwriting credit - were trying to tell. There are a couple of other key lines I also can't decipher. And the title line comes at the end, and seems to be almost an afterthought, although given that it is the title, I assume it was meant to have some importance. If anyone wants to share what they think the entire lyric is, I'd be much obliged. 

Download: Bob Gerard - Hurry Up Old Man


The flip side, "Tell Me", is one of these supper club sort of thing with a Latin lilt, and is about as tedious as a song-poem can be. Jack Covais did credit himself as the cowriter of this one. I hope he was proud. 

Download: Bob Gerard - Tell Me



1 comment:

Sammy Reed said...

Dangit, these don't have that bass player we're supposed to hear on Bob Gerard songs.
("Boom - booBOOM?, Boom - booBOOM?")