The things you stumble upon on YouTube...

>> Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In this instance, a very nice arrangement of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz," a song made famous by the American physician Dr. Frederick Von Frankenstein (who'd perform it at scientific symposiums), performed by Cory Hall:






I can't possibly call myself an Irving Berlin fan, perhaps because I inevitably associate him with a Very Famous Song that represents to me the worst kind of American blowhard-ism (I much prefer the response1). Which maybe isn't fair to Berlin: he was an immigrant who pulled himself up from nothing (I mean, goddamn, Cossacks burned his house down and everything); he was happy to be here, proud to be here, needed to spread his love somehow. And I dig his need to express his joy over his new homeland, I just wish the damn song wasn't so full of itself--especially when you compare it to the plainspoken wisdom and simplicity of Woody Guthrie's reply.

But whatever--Berlin knew how to write a catchy tune, no doubt about it.





1Until I pulled up that video, I'd forgotten about the "This Machine Kills Fascists" sticker on Woody's guitar--the best piece of guitar graffiti ever.


2 comments:

Seth Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 3:01:00 AM EDT  

I thought that song was written by Taco.

Eric Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 9:13:00 AM EDT  

And I always used to get Taco mixed up with Falco.

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