The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Singles Going Steady #4


Jonathan Winters & the Martians - Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu b/w Take Me to Your Leader
(Coral 9-61988; 1958)


The saucer landed and one of the tiny little men said, “Take me to your leader!” I would, but I didn’t know who my leader was.
~ Jonathan Winters


With this novelty rock and roll record by comedy alien Jonathan Winters we finally get away from the Buddy Holly universe, although still in the realm of Decca's pop offshoot Coral Records. One wishes Winters' contribution to these tracks was a little more substantial, Stan Freberg-ian these sides ain't, but you sense him playing along gamely enough. A few years later in his career he might have invested them with a little more character (his string of brilliant Verve Records comedy LPs was still a couple of years away).

Amazingly, Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu (by Eddie V. Deane, who also wrote Cha Cha Joe for the Three Suns, among other musical footnotes) was also covered by Dicky Doo and the Don'ts. I confess I haven't heard their version, but it's hard to imagine them truly doing the song the justice it deserves.

3 comments :

swac said...

I sincerely hope everyone is downloading these to delight their friends and family.

Fred said...

I saw ska band Bad Manners do a version of Nee Nee Na Na... live back when I had hair (which the Bad Manners lead singer didn't).

Richard Gibson said...

Very good Stephen!

Wow Bad Manners covered this? Wow who'd have known? It makes complete sense when you listen to it.

Lip up fatty!