Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nostalgia for a Time That No Longer Exists: "TENEMENT SYMPHONY"

Photographer Shirley Baker is the subject of a new museum exhibit. It collects her photos of "An England That No Longer Exists."

Most of the photos could easily have been taken in parts of America as well, from the streets of old Boston to the Lower East Side tenements of Manhattan.

One thing about the old tenements; no matter who you were or where you came from, your neighbors were your friends. You all spoke the same language. You all lived by the same customs. You all had the same morality.

It didn't matter if your ancestors came from Italy, Greece, Russia or anywhere else. You had the same goals. You wanted to make your country great. You wanted to make a better world for your children. And if your children married outside your own faith or ethnic ancestry, so what?

Now? Not so much. Immigrants come in and refuse to speak the language. They refuse to learn the customs. They are self-entitled, arrogant and often violent. As much as they might be privileged, or given every break in the book, they turn like rats and use all they learned against the people who sheltered them. Right, "Jihada John" of the UK? That so, you murderous "brothers" who blew up the Boston marathon and sauntered away smirking?

What nostalgia to hear Tony Martin, that handsome Italian singer who was actually a Jew, enthusiastically sing about the Scots and Italian and the others who lived in literal harmony. "It's all a part of my TENEMENT SYMPHONY."

Yes, the song is still heard thanks to Tony's rousing performance of it in the lesser Marx Brothers movie "At the Store."

Hear it once more. It's strictly a nostalgia piece now, Senor.

Tenement Symphony Tony Martin

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