Ol’ Man Mose – For Those Who Like 1930s Music with F-Bombs

The next time someone tells you they think 1930s music is lame and tame, you let them listen to this little ditty by Patricia Norman, accompanied by Eddy Duchin and his band.

Warning: Explicit language.

That’s right, explicit language. If you don’t like it in your music, please don’t listen. You’ve been warned!

This was the first known song which had the F word in it, and it was absolutely scandalous when it first came out in 1938. In fact, it not only uses the F word, it uses it repeatedly. Read the lyrics and you’ll see why! Too bad there wasn’t a TV performance like the spectacular one by Betty Hutton, albeit to tamer lyrics, at the end of this post.

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Best Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2010

Most people do not hear most of the songs they know for the first time in the year the song was released. If anyone did, I would feel very sorry for them for missing out on all the great songs of the past from before they were born, or even great songs each year they lived they would have missed.

What most people don’t do is reflect each year on the best songs they heard for the first time that year. I’ve blogged some of mine, but not all so this is my entire collection for 2010 which could fit on a CD if I made one.

After several years of discovering a ton of jazz and older music, then tunes from musicals, so that they made up most of the songs in my list for recent years , I am back with an eclectic set that reflects my true musical tastes and philanderings across genres. I even have not only one song from the current year, but two! A song from the year of the list was something I didn’t have for several years. I did find newly released songs I liked a lot in those years, but they didn’t compare to a variety of jazz and musicals standards I discovered in those years.

But before I share my list, let me ask you the same question as I answered to write this post. What were the best songs you heard for the first time in 2010?

I’d love to know so please do leave a comment. I can add the links to videos so people can hear what you’re talking about, if you would like. But if you don’t want to do it here, maybe write a blog post like this if you have a blog, or a Facebook note or something like that on a social media platform account you have. It might just be one of the more thoughtful notes to your friends all year.

Here is my list, in no particular order of preference, with videos streaming the songs. You will need to click on the YouTube link for some videos with some weird copyright condition that only allow them to be viewed on YouTube. I hate that’s become a wussie and lost all its edge.

Happy New Year!
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Which Were the Most Popular and Interesting Cartoons You Saw for the Facebook Campaign Against Child Abuse?


Last weekend, the first weekend in December, there was a global campaign on Facebook where people replace their profile pictures with their favourite cartoon character/s.

I was happy to see a lot of my Facebook friends took part. It was really interesting to see what everybody chose for their characters.

Being the curious type, the two most obvious question I had were which characters were the most popular, and which were interesting?

For the most interesting, I would have to give that to my friend Dan, who chose Banana Man.

For the most popular, that’s a much harder question to answer with any confidence. I don’t have enough Facebook friends to get a statistically significant result. Fortunately, I have this site which I estimate provided about 20,000 cartoon pictures to people looking for them over the weekend. Talk about suffocating from smog from the traffic from my blog! OMG!!!

Of course, I don’t have all the comic book characters out there, but I probably have about 500, of which 250 were here. That’s a decent sample size variety for me. I also have visitors from around the world.

From stats on this website, from what I could tell, Snoopy from the Peanuts strip was the most popular character (sometimes with Charlie Brown and Woodstock so hard to separate them out.

Comic book heroine Wonder Woman was a close second.

My Melody from the Hello Kitty strip was third.

Wilma Flintsone was fourth.

Homer Simpson was fifth.

Cinnamoroll from Hello Kitty was sixth.

Catwoman was seventh.

Love-a-lot Bear from the Care Bears was eighth.

Pebbles Flintstone was ninth.

Finally, Lucky Bear from the Care Bears was tenth.

I haven’t seen any articles yet which gives a large sample size for the most popular character, but if you do, please do share.

What about among your Facebook friends? Who was the most popular character or most popular cartoon strip?

And don’t forget about the most interesting character you saw.

Ah’m a Nigger Man by Scatman Crothers, Politically Incorrect?

If you’re like most people, you’ve never heard of this 1975 song called Ah’m a Niggerman sung by Scatman Crothers.

I can’t even put a link to tell you more about it because I couldn’t find a write up specifically on it!

That’s rare in the world these days!


I found this song while looking for Scatman’s version of a Disney song called Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat, from the animation called The Aristocats from 1970.


I found Ah’m a Nigger Man because YouTube displayed Scatman Crothers videos besides Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat. The title Ah’m a Nigger Man was too irresistible to avoid clicking to see what it was about. But yes, this guy did Disney stuff just years before he did this song that’s probably controversial in most people’s books. It has all the controversial elements, not the least of which is using the word “nigger” over and over again. Stuff like that in songs today would get some warning on it, if not for controversy then for political incorrectness, that’s for sure!

Scatman Crothers

But is it really politically incorrect? That’s my question.

To give you some context, consider these things.

It came from a 1975 stop animation film with an even more controversial title, called Coonskin. It was directed by Ralph Bakshi, who I have to mention is Caucasian and Israeli since race is obviously an issue of controversy with the song. Ralph had also directed a version of the Lord of the Rings in 1978, way before the recent film trilogy came along.

Scatman Crothers wrote the music, and Ralph wrote the lyrics (though not the scatting, that’s for sure), according to Wikipedia. Hey, best source I could find online… and nobody has put up lyrics for this song!

Seriously! I hardly ever come across any songs I can’t find lyrics for these days! I can’t remember one, in fact!

He seemed to have accepted it as having some value more than money, like maybe a social commentary. This was not some big production or record that was going to sell a lot of copies. I doubt he would have thought this song would have gotten a lot of mainstream air play given its lyrics contained the word “nigger” more times than most racy song these days with that word in it.

I don’t think the song is controversial or politically incorrect. I see the value in the social commentary. I see it as partly reflecting the times and a small part of the history of African-American culture, as it were, without all the spin and sugar coating. For some people, any use of the word “nigger” is just bad, definitely politically incorrect, and that it should be removed from the English language. However, I think that in the “right context”, the word “nigger” has its place. We could not accurately write African-American history without it, for example. It’s all about how you use the word, and unlike a lot of the songs today with the word “nigger” in it, I think it belongs just fine in every single instance you find it in Ah’m a Nigger Man.

Put it another way, if I thought this song were politically incorrect, I wouldn’t dare put it on my blog that some people will inevitably use to form some or all of their opinion of me as a person. If I thought the song controversial, it would never fit in the “slightly controversial” category. It’d be way too much for me to dare to put here!

I also think Ah’m a Nigger Man is a better example of African-American music than most of the songs I had heard which were written and performed solely by African-Americans in the past 20 years. Sure, Scatman didn’t write the lyrics, but the music and scat singing was his. I think if he felt the lyrics were “off”, he’d probably have objected. Put yourself in his shoes and think about whether you’d have done anything if the lyrics had not “felt right” to some extent. I also wonder if he might have had a hand in refining the lyrics if they had not “felt right” to start with. Ralph Bakshi might have “gotten it right” from the start. In my opinion, and I’m not going to try to qualify that opinion, that music and scat singing contribution by Scatman Crothers alone were sufficient to make Ah’m a Nigger Man a more worthy example of African-American music than most of the songs I had heard which were written and performed solely by African-Americans in the past 20 years. Add on a well-matched set of lyrics to the music and you’ve got an even better example!



Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.0

What’s Your Song of Comfort? (Part 3 of 7 on The World in Six Songs)



Book and Theory Background

Daniel J. Levitin wrote an absolutely brilliant book called The World in Six Songs, supported by a great website with the many music samples referenced, among other great related material.

My basic paraphrasing of the concept is this. All the songs in the world could be fit into at least one of six categories providing an evolutionary benefit to humanity, often ultimately tied to our social nature.

The book and website offer far more detailed interpretations, of course, but I will expand on my paraphrasing with each post and the associated topic.

Daniel J. Levitin and The World in Six SongsIn a series of posts, I will describe each of the six categories in brief, one at a time:

  1. Friendship
  2. Joy
  3. Comfort
  4. Knowledge
  5. Religion
  6. Love

I will describe what the categories are about because they are not as limited in scope as the category names suggest. I will then supply one of my choices and ask all readers to do the same if they so wish. In the seventh post of the series, I will offer the chance to put the song choices all together so readers can read the entire set on one post. I do this because it would be a long post to describe all six categories at once, but to have all the answers in one place might be nice.


This post focuses on Songs of Comfort

July 30th add-on in italics, from Dan Levitin in a summary article
This category of song provides comfort in times of loneliness, stress or heartbreak, along with the classic comfort song, the lullaby. Music written about loneliness and stress can provide us with comfort by assuring us we are  not alone in our grief or misery, aiding the recovery process. Lullabies mutually calm mother and child, and may release prolactin, while at the same time providing a bond between the two, which is beneficial for the child.

These songs make us feel more comfortable, whether by easing us into more comfort or relieving us of discomfort. Often, it is the latter, and often through letting us know we are not alone in whatever predicament the songs are trying to relieve us of, that we have a place in the greater whole. Sometimes, songs of Comfort may overlap with Friendship / Bonding category, but should only be considered as such if they were also motivating one to bond or forge direct relationship. If one truly wanted to fit a song into only one category, should the encouragement to bond be present, then consider the song a Friendship / Bonding song, not a comfort song. Encouragement to bond in a way related to “love” will be dealt with later but that also trumps the Comfort category if there were two possibilities and one only wanted to fit a song into solely one category.

Sad songs are the most common form of Comfort songs, but so are lullabies and blues. Comfort songs’ benefit to our evolution is that they cause the release of prolactin, a tranquilizing hormone that comforts us, among many other purposes. Obviously, comfort during times of stress, or even just more comfort in good times, benefits our survival.

Audio sample of songs from the Comfort chapter in The World in Six Songs can be found on the website. No direct link was available, but click on the Songs menu option and appropriate page number range link carrying pages 111 to 136. Please note that not all songs are meant as samples of Comfort songs. Some are just referenced material in the book text.


Author Daniel Levitin chose


My choice for Song of Comfort is

Solitude, as sung by Billie Holiday (lyrics).

Written by Eddie Delange, Irving Mills, Duke Ellington, this bluesy jazz standard talks about a person in solitude longing for her (or his) lover who has left her/him. However, because the singer sings it like it’s happening to her, the listener regards it as someone else going through the same situation. As for my insistence upon the Billie Holiday version, well, let’s just say there’s nobody who knows how to make a song sadder than Billie. She’s got an album titled Lady Sings the Blues, for which she wrote the title track, for a very good reason. I could actually listen to any Billie Holiday song, sad or happy, and I would feel better if I were feeling sad. She’s got that “honest signal” quality in her singing to persuade the listener she knows what she’s talking about rather than faking it. “Honest signal” is discussed by Daniel Levitin in the Love chapter as being regarded as superior to speech because it is more challenging to fake singing an emotion than talking about it.


What is your choice for Song of Comfort?

Please leave your choice as a comment.

Lyrics and YouTube/audio link would greatly enhance your answer so readers can know more about your choice. They are not necessary, though, and not possible if no lyrics or version exist.

You can include songs you wrote as a choice, too!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.1