A New Year’s Eve tradition

Recently, my mother told me about a New year’s Eve tradition in which my German relatives partake. At some point during the evening, they watch a sketch called Dinner For One (also known as The 90th Birthday) and laugh their collective asses off.  It seems that they are not the only ones enjoying this brilliantly done bit of British physical comedy. This sketch is known as a New Year’s Eve tradition in many countries other than Germany including, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands and South Africa to name but a few. Ironically, it never really took off in Britain. Sadly, it has yet to take off in North America, but I hope to remedy that, in some small way, by showing it here. Dinner For One was originally written for the theatre in the 1920’s and first filmed for television in 1963 as a one shot/take 18 minute sketch. That it was done in one take without an edit just serves to make it that much more brilliant. So, without further ado, may I present, Freddie Frinton and May Warden in the original black and white version of Dinner For One in English with introduction by Heinz Piper in German (the sketch begins at the 2 minute 23 second mark).

The sketch was so popular that there have been many versions performed along with several parodies, most notably (and recently) one in which the heads of Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy are superimposed upon those of the original actors’ and the dialogue deals with the Euro zone Debt Crisis. In 1999 German television station, NDR colorized it, presumable to bring it more up to date.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of proof that, yes Germans do have a sense of humour after all.

Here’s wishing you and yours a prosperous New Year with a picture from last year’s New Year’s blog.

baby-newyears1Same procedure as EVERY year.

Arrogance or ignorance?

On New Year’s Eve, in Time Square, Cee Lo Green was asked to sing a song. Sounds innocent enough, right? The song he sang was John Lennon’s Imagine. An iconic song that means a great deal to so many.

Here are the actual lyrics to Imagine, as written by John Lennon.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Cee Lo Green sang the song in a slightly different way. Watch and see if you can spot the difference.

At the very least Mr. Green is guilty of not learning the correct lyric. Like when you listen to a song and think they lyric is something different than what it really is. For example, when Phoebe, on the sitcom Friends, thought that Elton John’s Hold me closer Tiny Dancer was actually Hold me close Young Tony Danza. Although in her case she wasn’t performing the song in front of an audience of millions. If you are charged with singing someone else’s song, it is your responsibly to  learn the lyrics as they were written.

At the very worst, Mr. Green is guilty of willfully changing the lyric to further his own agenda. In this article from the Huffington post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/01/cee-lo-green-changes-imagine-lyrics_n_1178313.html#s583202&title=Austin_McCarty the author shares a slideshow of tweets between irate Lennon fans (and atheists) and Cee Lo Green. In one of those tweets, Mr. Green states that he was a guest (actually he wrote guess) of Yoko Ono. If that is the case, why would you spit on the memory of her husband to her face? His lyric change makes the first verse of the song nonsensical. Why would we imagine that there is no heaven or hell, if all religion is true? After reading the tweet exchange it becomes clear that he DID intend to change the lyric.

Now the question becomes WHY? Why sing the song at all if you disagree with it? Were you contractually obligated to sing it? Why sing this song and change this particular lyric, knowing that it will piss people off the world over? Are you so desperate for publicity that even bad publicity is appealing? Why did you feel the need to insert your own beliefs into a song about lack of belief? Are you really that arrogant? And, perhaps most significantly, why are you hanging out with Yoko Ono? That’s an image I just can’t Imagine.