Thursday, December 06, 2012

Great Drinking Songs (38)

I don't know quite why I think of this as a potential drinking song. I don't think I've ever actually sung it, drunk or sober. But Shame & Scandal In The Family is a song I remember happily from my very early childhood (it was quite a big hit in England in the late '60s - for The Skatalites, I think). And it has such a great tune, such a simple structure, such fun lyrics (I must have been deeply confused and embarrassed by them when I first heard them!) that I've always thought I'd like to sing it one day....

It is one of the great standards of Caribbean music these days, and has been covered by everyone from Madness to German ska band Dr Ring Ding and The Senior All-Stars to the great Peter Tosh to - bizarrely! - the rather fruity British comic actor Lance Percival. I gather the very first recording was by a Trinidadian calypso singer who called himself Sir Lancelot. There's also another rather good early version by a performer called Shawn Elliott, who I've not been able to find out anything about.

Most of these YouTube postings, unfortunately, are audio only.

So, here's the Skatalites version - with a completely unrelated clip of the great tap dance duo, the Nicholas Brothers.

If you don't know the Nicholas Brothers, check out this clip of their show-stopping number in the 1943 musical Stormy Weather. Their speed and precision, and their exuberant, seemingly efffortless athleticism are quite astounding. This is one of the handful of best dance routines ever filmed.

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