2018 – A Century of Progress (?)
(Ignore above publish date – this was published on November 2, 2018)
Today – November 2 – would have been my father’s 97th birthday. It is also El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). As most of you know, it’s not a spooky day like Halloween, but rather one that celebrates loved ones who are no longer with us.
It also has nothing to do with this post’s subject matter, which is a year older than Dad, but it’s nice to throw him a shout-out on his birthday.
(Also unrelated, but leading up to………something): Yesterday, I received my complimentary contributor’s copy of the brand new Metallica remastered deluxe box set that celebrates the 30th anniversary of their “…And Justice For All” album (a couple of my photos are in it). It’s got a TON of stuff in the box and costs a couple hundred dollars (thank you, Q-Prime Management).
I had to rearrange things on a shelf to accommodate it – it’s large and heavy. I have a lot of diverse collections on those shelves and one of the things I unearthed under a pile of other things was a piece of sheet music……………….from 1920!
Here’s the front cover:
The song was published by Irving Berlin, Inc., but – as you can see – was not written by him.
Inside are the music and lyrics (click to enlarge):
Because the lyrics might not be fully-legible, I looked for them online to copy and paste here, but they were kind of jumbled paragraph-style – not lyric-style – so I typed them up:
EVERYBODY’S ON THEIR WAY TO JERSEY
There’s a certain little state
No one thought was up-to-date
Jokes about it made a lot of fun
But folks are getting hunches
Going there in bunches
A mighty mob has started on the run
Tho’ small in size
That state is wise
Its population soon will be
The whole United States
People living there are fine
Each one has a friend named “Stein”
Anderson had better watch his step
The cops are in a fury
Each kitchen is a brewery
They brew those hops
That fill you full of pep
From California, Massachusetts
People far and near
A train they take
To join the wake
And gather ‘round the “bier”
Everybody’s on their way to Jersey
Everybody’s going there to stay
And it’s not to get the air
That they’re going over there
There is something doing, something brewing
OH! BOY! Buckets of joy
Three and a half percent in dear old Jersey
Is not the dividends the bankers pay
Just hop on a train and tell the man
That you want to go where they rush the can
For everybody’s on their way to Jersey
(Hmmm………..a little non-PC in that second verse – and what’s “rush the can”?)
I DID find a “Click here to play this song” link, but after downloading it and then having to convert it to another format, all I got was an instrumental. So if you read music and play, maybe you can sing along with the prior image.
Here’s the back cover, in case you want some Berlin song hits for your Talking Machine or Player-piano:
Back to the front cover image: The very affluent-looking (and 100% MALE) Jersey-bound crowd of Mister Monopolys is split between two transportation choices after work in Manhattan: ferry or train (Hudson Tube under the Hudson River).
The ferry bunch looks quite unhappy while the tubesters are quite the opposite. The much newer tube option appears to be the preferred choice…………..by far.
Nearly 100 years later, contrast that with these recent images (I think they were taken this week and copyright credits go to CBS New York and PIX11 New York, respectively) of what seem to be an almost-daily occurrence in Manhattan with the trains to New Jersey (in this case, the ancient Portal Bridge in New Jersey was stuck in the open position – something that happens on a regular basis):
I don’t see any smiles.
This is progress?
Well, there IS a little progress…………….at least it’s not all male.
I’m glad that – in my job – I only had to “commute” (by car) at night (though Alice Cooper DID do a lunchtime show in Times Square once).