Daily Song Study

Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks – Switzerland

In songs on August 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I’m fortunate to have a musical godfather, someone who is not only a friend but also an artistic inspiration. His name is Little Jack Melody, and though currently accomplishing the difficult task of playing bass for Brave Combo, he has since 1991 also been the proprietor of a curious act called Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks. The goal of the band was to reintroduce the cabaret style into modern music, but with a modern lyrical twist. To create a modern Weimar music hall, so to speak.

Although his commercial success has been limited, he has inspired a number of musicians in the U.S. and elsewhere to step up their songwriting game, and his work has definitely had that effect on me. I consider him to be one of the greatest Texas lyricists of all time, and I say that completely without hyperbole.

All this sounds rather serious, and of course some of it is. But he also has a wicked sense of humor, showcased in today’s tune. It was written around the time of the U.S. invasion of Panama, which if you recall was accompanied with much rhetoric about this terribly dangerous dictator who would somehow become the next Hitler if we didn’t blow the tiny banana republic to smithereens post-haste. The imagery of swatting this fly with a Buick was enough to make him create, in Jonathan Swift style, a call to arms against that well-known aggressor Switzerland. The sarcasm is thick enough to chew on, and the pomposity of the call to arms rings true, which makes it even more hilarious. And well-crafted.

  1. Well you certainly threw out the right code words to get me to listen to this with fresh ears. Quite enjoyable, especially now that i’ve become much more open to the style in recent months.

  2. […] consequences if you do it wrong will be negatively compared to the original. I mentioned my friend Little Jack Melody earlier. The band he currently basses for, Brave Combo, are masters of rearrangement, as shown in […]

  3. […] this label put out the first solo album by Rhett Miller (later of Old 97s), most of the Little Jack Melody catalog (my hero), and even albums by progressive alterna-rock acts like Course of Empire, among […]

  4. […] store called w3cd.com. It was operated by Carpe Diem Records boss Allan Restrepo (who had released Little Jack Melody & Cafe Noir records, mentioned here before), and staffed by a hodgepodge of relatively […]

  5. […] I’ve spoken here before about my musical godfather Mr. Melody, and it seems appropriate in these times to highlight another of his neo-cabaret masterpieces. […]

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