Bluff City: America's Playground Pt. 04

1:36:55
 
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Manage episode 335064405 series 2811444
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(If you'd like to follow along to everyone watching Mr. Ed Plays Baseball at 1:22:24, here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlVr45CHOuA )

Three Out of Five It Ain’t Bad

During the late 1880s and early 1890s, the Bluff City Boardwalk saw a surge (and then sudden decline) in the unusual genre of “Lovers’ Songs”. Enterprising organ grinders would charge participants a small sum, hand out a broadsheet, and then act as an accompanist to a lovesick singer.

These proved wildly unpopular. The songs were never particularly emotive, the cost was slightly too high, but the primary nail in the coffin was that it turned out that nobody liked to be sung to - in public - by a potential beau (who was invariably fighting the volume of a barrel organ two feet away).

Most of these songs had faded into obscurity by the time Elliott Callahan, in 1899, recorded “Three Out of Five It Ain’t Bad”, a song that fails - straightforwardly - at communicating anything about love, or indeed anything at all.

I wish I could give you the crown on the head

Of the Queen out in Olde London Town!

I wish I could send you the brooches that shine

Of the Princess of Burgundy’s gown.

But all I can offer’s the love in my heart,

You can make me the happiest lad!

I can offer this music, companionship too,

And hey, three out of five it ain’t bad.

Three out of five, three out of five,

Three out of five it ain’t bad (it ain’t bad!)

Three out of five it ain’t bad, my love,

Three out of five it ain’t bad.

I wish we could visit the fanciest stores,

I would buy you such satin and lace.

I wish we could hike, hand in hand, through the Alps,

See the wintry sun on your face.

But all I can offer’s the spring in my step,

And the knowledge your smile makes me glad.

And the tune that I raise with such fullness of heart,

And hey, three out of five it ain’t bad.

Three out of five, three out of five,

Three out of five it ain’t bad (it ain’t bad!)

Three out of five it ain’t bad, my love,

Three out of five it ain’t bad.

*Organ grinder part in parentheses

Featuring: Austin Walker, Art Martinez-Tebbel, Jack de Quidt, Janine Hawkins and Keith J Carberry

Music & Description by Jack de Quidt

Mall Kids is available at https://mr-matthew.itch.io/mall-kids

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