Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where I'm tattooed

That mash-up of right-to-work advocacy and musical-comedy comes to us courtesy of Shipyard Sally, a 1939 film starring Gracie Fields as the plucky heroine.

Fields was an interesting figure: she began her career in with British music hall reviews in the twenties, was awarded several distinguished honors, including a CBE, for her charitable work, beat cervical cancer in the thirties, supported the British war effort in the forties even though her marriage to an Italian forced her to leave the U.K., and continued to work into the nineteen-seventies, even playing Miss Marple on U.S. television. She became a Dame shortly before her death at 81.

So, why am I promoting a thirty-years-dead obscure British entertainer? Well, when I was a wee lad, whenever my mother would present her little boy to women of a certain age, whether they actually pinched my cheeks or not, they almost universally greeted me with the same singsong chant, playing on my name. Perhaps the most valued of all the informational flotsam and jetsam that the intarweb has tossed onto my shores is the origin of that incantation, and it is intimately connected to Gracie Fields. Click the picture of Little Walaka and Vera, listen a while, and all will be made clear.

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