“In the dark times,” asked Berthold Brecht,
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
He was right and wrong: right about the singing, but not about the subject matter.
Has the human race experienced a worse year than 1942? The world was at war: total war, vicious beyond all imagining, from the incineration of cities to industrial mass murder. It was a time when (Brecht again):
The earth no longer produces, it devours.
The sky hurls down no rain, only iron.
There was, in this dark time, plenty of singing. But for the most part the singing was in the vein of this sentimental, slow, delightful fox-trot from the British bandleader Sidney Lipton. It is pure escapism, slop about lovers strolling, superbly performed by Lipton’s famously skilled orchestra.
The only hint of trouble outside the concert hall is the line: “It doesn’t matter though the world is turning upside down”. And if it was 1942, and I was an air-raid warden, shivering in a stinking sandbagged trench, it is just what I would want to listen to.
- Artist: Sidney Lipton and His Orchestra, vocals Eddy Briant
- Title: “The Same Old Lovers’ Lane”
- Format: 10” shellac disc, 78rpm
- Label: Columbia, DO-2528
- Manufactured in: Australia
- Year: 1942
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