Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brahms, Mel Brooks, Nelson Eddy: Hope For the Best, Expect The Worst!

There's some anonymous dead Hungarian still spinning in his grave because Brahms borrowed his melody for Hungarian Dance #4. And Brahms himself probably did a little death rattle dance when hokey lyrics were mated to his music and turned into pop fodder by Nelson Eddy, a once-popular tenor. Such is life.

Ultimately, a measure of justice was restored when Mel Brooks took over. Life's sniffles, sobs and snickers…its indignities, humiliations and laughingly horrible ironies…are in the lyrics used for yet another adaptation of Brahms' and that poor dead Hungarian's melody. It's the theme song for "The Twelve Chairs," Mel's last great original (vs parody) movie.

"Hope For the Best, Expect the Worst" is in the style of Jewish comedy, contrasting the pessimism of rage and cynicism with the only alternative...faith and optimism. As Sholom Aleichem's Tevye said, "life must go on…God willing." And, come to think of it, even if you don't believe there's a God, there's still a You. And here you are, at the illfolks blog. Oy!

About two minutes into the Brahms original, there's a peculiar second melody that was not used by either Nelson Eddy or Mel Brooks. It's a rare example of a "master's work" justifiably edited. The melody adaptation Mel and his arranger chose is much better.

Submitted for your approval, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Shit! It's Brahms' Hungarian Dance #4, Nelson Eddy, and the "12 Chairs" soundtrack.

Sapristi! HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST!

Sapristi! NELSON EDDY - AS YEARS GO BY

Sapristi! The original BRAHMS HUNGARIAN DANCE #4 by Brahms.

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