The 12 Discs of Christmas 2011 #2


The Chad Mitchell Trio - Twelve Days (from Singin' Our Mind, Mercury SR60838; 1963)



Our second installment this year is a topical take on The 12 Days of Christmas courtesy of folk pranksters The Chad Mitchell Trio, who included Twelve Days on their 1963 LP Singin' Our Mind, an otherwise non-holiday album that includes Texas work songs, Ian & Sylvia's Four Strong Winds and An Irish Song by the late folk legend (and former Haligonian) Ed McCurdy. They also do Tom Paxton's The Marvelous Toy, which I guess could squeak by as a Christmas song, I know I've heard others get away with it.

Twelve Days is a response to the then-hot topic of former Nazis living and thriving in South America and elsewhere, most notably SS-Obersturmbannf├╝hrer Adolf Eichmann--the man who made the Final Solution's trains run on time--captured in 1960 by Mossad in Argentina and tried and executed in Israel two years later. The lyric "to Hell with Adenauer" refers to German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who, on the one hand, tried to make restitution with those persecuted under Nazi rule, but on the other allowed many ex-Nazis to remain in service in his government. Especially his close confidant and Director of the Federal Chancellory, Hans Globke who, during the Second World War, was chief legal advisor in the Office for Jewish Affairs in the Ministry of Interior, the section headed by, you guessed it, Adolf Eichmann.

"This was inspired by a news item in the Herald Tribune on December 25, 1961, stating that SS Major General Kurt 'Panzer' Meyer, a favorite of Adolf Hitler, died of a heart attack; Meyer had been sentenced to death for the wanton slaying of thousands of Allied prisoners. His sentence was commuted to life, then reduced to 14 years, with time off for good behavior. Freed in 1954, he was given a hero's welcome in his home town, Muchen Gladbach. Former members of his division staged a celebration, choirs sang in the streets and torchlight processions wound through the ancient cobblestones of the town far into the night..."
~from liner notes by Henrietta Yurchenco

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