Sunday, October 05, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr. Hitler?

I had thought the song was WWII authentic, but it was written for the show. There is a nice moment in the second season when these ridiculous, hapless men from the Home Guard - those not in the regular army because of age or some exemption - believe that Hitler is invading, and the three of them must make a stand at the crossroads near Godfrey's Cottage to give the army time to arrive. The entire point of the show (1970's) was to poke gentle fun at an earlier generation. The joke rather caught in the throat when one of the three said "Mind you, it will probably be the end of us, but we're ready for that, aren't we men?" and another answered " a'course." Apparently it was deeply moving to many.

I watched it (S2E2, halfway through.) It was all the more powerful for being a throwaway line, not milked as they did in Titanic.

On our 1997 visit to England and Scotland for Jonathan's graduation, I wandered one evening from the apartment we had rented in Marleybone in search of an interesting pub and came across one closer to Bond Street, where the sound of people singing around a piano drifted out into the night.  I went in and sang songs from the war, from music hall, from Steeleye Span, Tom Lehrer, and show tunes.  One of the most marvelous nights of my life.  I brought Tracy back on Thursday, but the magic of serendipity wasn't there.

I can still picture three or four of them quite clearly, though.

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