Monday, November 22, 2010

The Devil (in the white city)

I've been churning my way through the Fiction/Novel Pulitzer Prize Winners and have reached the 1931 winner,  Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes.  Although I'm at early stages in the book, there's a fun bit of trivia in the book about the Chicago World's Fair in the book:

"That song (Tar ra ra ra Boom de ay),"  said Mrs. Lester comfortably, as she picked up her knitting, will always make me think of the World's Fair." The celebrated Columbian Exposition had  been running all summer down in Jackson Park.  Muriel slipped easily into "After the Ball," the great band hit of the season.  She sang the popular parody with pathos, as she played,
After the Fair is over, what will Chicago do
With all those empty houses, run up with sticks and glue?
I'd rather live in Brooklyn (somebody'd know me there)
Than to live in Chicago, after---the--Fair."

And then, looking up Ta ra.ra, discovered that Joe Hill ( as in I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night) wrote words to the melody about "accidents" at work:  Here's the text in the IWW songbook:  This songbook includes words to the Workers Marsellaise and this interesting bit of lyric:

You starving member of the unemployed. Why starve?
We have produced enough. The warehouses are overflowing
with the things we need. WHY STARVE? 

And next, since Joe Hill allegedly had an alibi for the night of the murder for which he was executed but was with a married woman and didn't want to spoil her reputation, I found info on Long Black Veil.

Done and done.

No comments: