Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Van Dyke Parks used a fragment of "Jack Palance" on one of his eccentric albums, "Discover America," which made it seem that either he, or some insane studio musician, was impersonating a lunatic calypso singer. Actually, he was doing an early form of blogging, offering a tease to intrigue people into searching out an artist and buying his work. (He also, on the same album, threw in a plug for The Mills Brothers.)

The singer Van was trying to move: Trinidad's Mighty Sparrow (aka Slinger Francisco). You can learn all about him at his own mightysparrow dot com, where he has a load of CD's to sell to you, but gosh, no mp3 files to give away, just some "real audio" clips instead.

Since "Jack Palance" doesn't seem to be on any of the CDs, let it be a minor theft and serve as an introduction to the flights of fancy from Mr. Sparrow. The song is a cheerful rant that old whores should get off the street and let hotter sluts prevail. One 60 year-old broad in particular has Mighty shaking his head, 'cause she's SO ugly she looks like...

...But on the positive side, a whore who looks like Jack Palance and can still find someone willing to pay to do one-armed push ups on top of her, must be doing something right. Sparrow says, if the street is narrow, and her ugly old barrow is truly in the way..."move! Step aside and give your daughter a chance!"



Dennis said...

Actually 'The Four Mills Brothers' is also a cover. The original version is a calypso song by Roaring Lion. In fact, every song on Discover America is a cover (but the arrangements are significantly different). Most are calypso songs, but there are a few older, more traditional Trinidadian standards as well as a few American ones (obviously stars and stripes forever is not Trinidadian).

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