Friday, March 12, 2010

Notes on the Music 2 - Bring Back Those Wonderful Days

[The second in a series of postings on the music in my show Just a Song at Twilight: The Golden Age of Vaudeville.  Performances are March 26 and 27 at the Kranzberg Center in St. Louis; tickets at]

Darl Mac Boyle / Nat Vincent: Bring Back Those Wonderful Days (1919) (Additional lyrics by Chuck Lavazzi) – No matter where you are in time, things always seem to look better in the rear-view mirror even if (to stretch the metaphor to the breaking point) objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. America was not a jolly place in 1919 (see Kevin O’Morrison’s play Ladyhouse Blues for a stark illustration of that). Darl Mac Boyle’s original lyrics get all misty-eyed about “the dinners for a quarter”, “the milk without the water”, “the eggs at ten a dozen” and how “drinking ginger ale makes us weak and pale” – a complaint about the dreaded Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment and ushered in Prohibition. The boost it gave to organized crime persists to this day.

No comments: