Friday, 26 October 2012

Miracle on 34th Street Song meanings

Some of the terms in the songs for Miracle on 34th Street are a bit puzzling. Some might say they are quaint, others might call them dated. For the kids and also us adults who would like to know a bit more about the references to New York and American culture in the 40s here is the result of some googling:

Song: Big Ca-lown Balloons
"Pappy Yokum with Mammy trying to hide him, tipsy in the middle of the day."  Li'l Abner was a newspaper cartoon featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished town of DogpatchKentucky. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909–1979), Pappy Yokum was Li'l Abner's lazy and dull-witted "pappy".
"Keystone Cops" "Float-in' in their famous Model-T"
Look up Keystone Cops on YouTubeThe Keystone Cops were fictional incompetent policemen, featured in silent film comedies in the early 20th century. They chased villians and actors like Charlie Chaplain around streets and towns of the movies. 

Song: Here's Love

"C.I.O. to U.S. Steel" C.I.O. was a worker union organisation and U.S. Steel the Steel Industry. It was formed by the C.I.O. stands for Congress of Industrial Organizations. It was formed in 1936. It disbanded in 1942 to become the United Steel Workers of America. "U.S. Steel maintained the labor policies of Andrew Carnegie, which called for low wages and opposition to unionization." " The Company dropped its hard-line, anti-union stance in 1937, when Myron Taylor, then president of U.S. Steel, agreed to recognize the Steel Workers Organizing Committee," "The Steelworkers continue to have a contentious relationship with U.S. Steel, " but far less so than previously.

"Jolly Nikita to Norman Vincent Peale" Jolly Nikita has certainly become quite dated. Searching the internet finds greyhoulds and a recent Nikita TV series. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993) was a minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking)  Born and raised in Ohio. He became one of New York City's most famous preachers.

"Michelob to Blatz" These are beer companies. Michelob beer is still sold today by the Anheuser-Busch beer company. The Valentin Blatz Brewing Company produced Blatz Beer from 1851 until 1959.

"Shamrocks to the Orange-men and both to old Purdue." I assume . . . Shamrocks are the Catholic Irish. The Orange-men are the protestant Northern Irish. Purdue University  located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., Purdue was founded with help from Lafayette businessman John Purdue. College of science, technology, and agriculture. The first classes were held in 1874. "Hail to old Purdue" is a traditional song (official fight song) of Purdue University.

No comments: