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

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2011 #3



Malcolm Dodds - Ich Bin Very Happy (Merry, Merry Christmas) (Aurora 45-1996;1963)



Our third disc of Christmas also involves a bit of U.S./German history, although not quite as indepth as the Chad Mitchell Trio's Twelve Days. In this case, it's just the title of Ich Bin Very Happy (Merry, Merry Christmas) by Brooklyn's Malcolm Dodds, formerly of the doo wop group the Tunedrops, that has significance, paraphrasing President John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech made in Germany on June 26, 1963.

The tune is a fun little minute-and-a-half trifle, I found my copy with the sleeve at Stardust Records in Hamilton, produced by space age pop guitarist Al Caiola. Caiola was a busy musician in the early '60s, both on his own recordings of covers and movie themes and as a session player for Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Dion, Brenda Lee, Peggy Lee and Jerry Lee Lewis, to name just a few.

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