Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Eighteen with a bullet (from Brooklyn)

18 The Chanukah Song Neil Diamond

Written (with others) and first performed by Adam Sandler, in 1994. There were two further parts added, in 1999 and 2002. This version only features the first part — which is, the way things usually are, the best.

Let me pedantic for a moment. Wikipedia tells me that there are factual errors in the original — and, of course, factual accuracy is a prime requisite of pop song writing. Diamond repeats them here, too.

One Rod Carew, a black baseball player and coach, is not Jewish. His first wife was, though.

Two Harrison Ford is not quarter-Jewish but half-Jewish — via his mother, Dora Nidelman.

Three The Three Stooges were not all Jewish. This one’s complicated. Only three of them were — over the years there were five Three Stooges. Plus Iggy, of course. And the rest of his band, too, I guess.

The song’s other writers deserve credit, too. Ian Maxtone-Graham who has long been a big wheel on God’s own TV show, The Simpsons — he’s currently executive producer. Lewis Morton, one of the major writers of Futurama. I’ve no idea if they’re Jewish. Judging by names, though, you’d guess the first was and the second wasn’t, right?

Having written that stuff above about Tom Waits must have put me in a frame of mind to look for personal connections to the performers. And I realised I’m just a kiss and a handshake away from Neil Diamond. But no, I’m not telling you how or who did the kissing and shaking. (There is Jewishness involved, though.)

PS I wonder if this is where the popularity of the phrase ‘not so shabby’ began?

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