Ruth and I are digging out the basement under our home. Every morning, as I work, I seem to be afflicted with a new and unpredictable ear worm, a melody from my past that plays over and over until I consciously choose another tune to drown it out.
As I said, these are unpredictable. Most are stupid. Snatches of songs I should have forgotten. The other morning it was a couple of lines my father used to sing as we rode in his car to church. “While the organ peeled potatoes and the choir rendered lard, someone lit the church on fire. Holy smoke the preacher shouted as his wig flew in the air. And his head resembled heaven for there was no parting there.” This got me curious enough to Google the lines and come up with this:
Turns out dad had both the words and melody wrong, which isn’t surprising. What impresses me about this song, recorded in 1928, is how many of the jokes are probably inaccessible to the youth of today. Do millennials know what it means to render lard, or that songs also used to be rendered? I suddenly feel old.
But how wonderful that the Internet can give me this music and these words, which my long departed father would have been at a total loss to supply. Just one more reason why I love the Internet.
The other day we were in a grocery store and I happened to see cream of tartar on a shelf. What the heck is “cream of tartar”. I knew it was a thing, and had something to do with cooking. But beyond that, not a clue. So out came the smart phone, up with Google again, and there it is. Tartaric acid, a by product of wine making, used to stabilize eggs when whipping them. I’m so happy to have lived long enough to have answers to every question in my pocket.