This video is in German, but you’ll enjoy it whether you speak German or not.

I hope you enjoy your time with the barber, barmaid, and barbarians at Barbara’s bar.

For Sunday: “O Fortuna,” from Karl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”

o fortuna

If you have a reasonable knowledge of serious music, or movie music, this will make you laugh (and even if you’ve seen this video before; it makes me laugh every time I see it).

The lyrics are in medieval Latin. But people have been puzzling over them ever since Karl Orff set them to music sixty years ago.

Well, now you know what they’re really saying.

Gopher tuna!

Bring more tuna!

Statue of big dog with fleas!

For Sunday: Ginger Rogers sings “We’re In The Money” in Pig Latin

ginger rogers were in the money

As a movie buff, I always stand and salute whenever any of the “Gold Diggers” movies of the 1930s come on the air. I DVR them and play them over and over again.



This is from the first (and best) of them: “Gold Diggers of 1933.”  It opens with a cheerful song – “We’re In The Money,” a renunciation of the Depression – and ends with a very downbeat musical number, “Remember My Forgotten Man,” very sad indeed.



Not your usual movie.



Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Ginger Rogers, and Joan Blondell are featured, as well as some names that aren’t so well remembered: Warren William, Guy Kibbee, Aline MacMahon, Ned Sparks.


For me, one of the most astonishing things in this excellent movie is in the first sequence: Ginger Rogers singing “We’re In The Money” in Pig Latin.


Watch and be amazed.





For Halloween: The Great Pumpkin

great pumpkin

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was one of the first televised Peanuts specials, and one of the best. Here are a few selected scenes dealing with Linus’s misguided belief in the Great Pumpkin (who will only rise from the most sincere pumpkin patch in the world), and Sally’s reaction when she realized that she’s wasted her whole Halloween evening.


For Sunday: Tim Tebow reads “Green Eggs and Ham”

tim tebow green eggs and ham

Sometimes we need a relief from the difficulties of our everyday lives. We need something deeply silly to help us escape.

So: here’s Tim Tebow, who is Christian but delectably cute, doing a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham.”

With hand gestures, yet!

For Sunday: “Island Magic,” from Leonard Bernstein’s opera “Trouble in Tahiti”

trouble in tahiti

This is the best scene (I think) from Bernstein’s early opera “Trouble in Tahiti,” in an excellent staging / performance, with Nancy Williams singing the lead.

If you can’t make out the lyrics, you can find them here. They’re hysterical.


For Sunday: Cat Stevens sings “Peace Train” (1976)


Cat Stevens has always been one of my favorite singer/composers. His first five albums were bliss. He became a little more hit-and-miss after that, but I still find something to listen to on every album.

Cat, born of Greek parentage in England, has been on a long journey: he was a Buddhist for a long time, then Baha’i, and now Muslim. He even changed his name to Yusuf Islam (though Cat Stevens wasn’t his real name either; he was born Steven Demetre Georgiou).

He has always been unapologetic about voicing his beliefs. He got into trouble some years ago for mixing himself up with the whole Salman Rushdie / fatwa thing.

But there has always been a freshness and purity in his music. And he is often strangely profound, and he is also often powerfully spiritual.

This song (in live performance in 1976) is all of the above: fresh, pure, profound, and spiritual. And I still find it powerfully moving.

Ev’rybody jump upon the peace train.

For Sunday: “I Hate People,” from “Scrooge”

i hate people

“Scrooge” was an interesting movie. (I know it’s a Christmas movie, but the heat of summer makes me long for midwinter.) It had some decent songs, and a couple of great characterizations (Dame Edith Evans as a starchy grandmotherly un-Dickensian Ghost of Christmas Past, and Kenneth More as a huge Dickensian Ghost of Christmas Present).

This song is one of my favorites. I sing it to myself, under my breath, on most workdays, a little.


For Sunday: Three Dog Night sings Laura Nyro’s “Eli’s Coming”


Laura Nyro wrote some dynamite songs in the 1960s.

This is one of them.

This is a performance of one of them by Three Dog Night on a 1969 TV show, with the kinds of video  blandishments we thought were neat in those days.

Eli’s coming!

Hide your heart, girl!

For Sunday: Vampire Weekend sings “Diane Young”

diane young

From their brand-new album: Vampire Weekend’s song “Diane Young.”

Think about the title. But not too long.

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