Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WWII Week! (part 3)

Dear Muse,

Have you ever heard of George Formby? He's one of the great British musical comedians of the century, complete with ukelele! Two songs he performed during WWII are two of my favorites from his collection - and I'm going to share them with you!

Memorable World War II Songs, part 3

George Formby

1. "Imagine Me in the Maginot Line" - George Formby: The War and Postwar Years

A cute bit of wordplay there - as well as cheekiness. That probably cheered the other soldiers up quite a lot! 

2. "Mr. Wu's an Air Raid Warden Now" - George Formby: The War and Postwar Years

Seems to echo Formby's earlier "Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now" - and is it me, or do some of the lyrics seem racist?

"He goes round every night to make the black-out sure
So if you've got a chink in your window, you'll have another one at your door"

Whether it's racist or not, I enjoy humming it to myself every so often. It's a very wry (and sometimes lewd) tune. And hey, my tendencies towards semi-racist music could be worse - I could be humming "Goodbye Mama, I'm Off to Yokohama" (Teddy Powell, 1941) instead. Or, even worse: "We're Gonna Have to Slap the Dirty Little Jap" (Carson Robison, 1941) and "There'll Be a Little Smokio in Tokio" (Don Baker, 1942).

For me, the lyrics of those songs are too insulting and too racist to hum. If you want to know what I'm talking about, just go to this webpage and take a listen. Then turn to George Formby to ease the tension.

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