Monday, January 26, 2009

A Childhood Memory...

Did you ever have a favorite movie or tv show that you watched as a family when you were growing up? Perhaps there was a record or a comedy sketch that tickled your family's collective funny bone in such a way that it became a family favorite- one that might not reverberate outside of your own house.

I ran across something on the internet today that was just such a family treasure in my youth... A song from an old 1966 comedy album of my mother's called "When You're In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish". Now, this album had an ensemble cast of mostly Jewish comics, including Phil Leeds, Lou Jacobi and a very young Valerie Harper - better known as TV's "Rhoda". It was largely a collection of skits featuring Jewish jokes.

How my parents came to own this album is beyond me, because my Dad was a hillbilly from Ohio and my Mom was from God-forsaken Indiana, and I'm pretty sure neither of them had ever met a Jew before they moved to the DC area in 1962... but I digress.

The biggest hit on this album was a song by Frank Gallop called "The Ballad of Irving". Irving was a Jewish gunslinger - "the 142nd fastest gun in the west" - and this song tells his tale. Please indulge me and listen to the song. Pay no attention at all to the video - it's lousy and will only distract you.

The song itself is full of Jewish stereotypes and would not come close to passing the political correctness sniff test in 2009. However, it still packs a few good chuckles, and, for me, brings back memories of childhood... Laughing my arse off with my hip Mom over jokes that I would not fully get until I was an adult married to a Jewish princess of my own!

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