ASK FATHER: Just how old are you, anyway?

Lately I have had a few questions about my age.

Here are some videos of hits from the year I was born:

No.. really…

This is nice… some of you remember…

And if that weren’t bad enough…

And you haven’t heard it until you’ve heard me do it…

But there is also…

And for your ladies out there… ah… sixteeen…

So… that’s how old I am.

And I promise that I will never comb over.

I suppose that about when I was conceived this was on the radio:

I prefer to think about that than this:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TomG says:

    Ah, Sixteen Candles – the late, great Johnny Maestro! No one else compared.

  2. robtbrown says:

    Trivia question: What does Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife” have in common with the second James Bond film, “From Russia with Love”?

  3. JohnMa says:

    Still young enough that soon enough will be be saying “Bishop Z” instead of “Father Z.”

  4. Iacobus M says:

    Still in the bloom of youth, I see.i

  5. Charlie Cahill says:

    Happy 55th….don’t the years go by….

  6. HyacinthClare says:

    So young… you’re so very young. I remember those from high school! And don’t those songs take you right back there?

  7. AVL says:

    Ahhh the Battle of New Orleans!!!! LOL I love it!!

  8. wanda says:

    Thank you for the fun post on a Monday morning. Quite a trip down memory lane. Thank you for the pledge to never, ever do the come-over thing! Blessings and prayer for you, Fr. Z.

  9. Luvadoxi says:

    Request Father! Let’z hear you zing Mack the Knife! :)

  10. sawdustmick says:

    And Dion (DiMucci) is still going strong, sounding great and standing up for the Catholic Faith.

  11. Priam1184 says:

    My birth year was more Fleetwood Mac than the Fleetwoods, but you’re doin fine Father!

  12. Cafea Fruor says:

    Trivia answer: Lotte Lenya, who was an actree in From Russia with Love, was married to the guy who wrote “Mack the Knife”, I think.

  13. Cafea Fruor says:

    actress, not actree.

  14. Mike says:

    You know, Paul Anka sounds really fresh…an October leaf caught in a bright, breezy afternoon….

  15. An American Mother says:

    Cafea Fruor –
    Miss Lenya was indeed married to Kurt Weill, who composed the music for Dreigroschenoper by Bert Brecht. I sang her role in my misspent youth – auditioned in German because I did not know the English words. The English lacks a good deal of the all-round creepy nastiness of Brecht’s original, which is probably just as well. Lately I’ve preferred the original “Beggars Opera” by John Gay.
    My six year old daughter saw the 1931 Pabst film go by on the TV and asked, “Who are the good guys?” My husband said, “Honey, there aren’t any good guys in that movie.” “Oh, ok.”

  16. Sieber says:

    How do ya’ think I feel.
    Lambeth Walk & The Dipsey Doodle for me.

  17. Nicholas says:

    I have heard literally none of these songs and listened to 60’s protest songs in my high school history class for the purpose of cultural understanding. Some of my fellow WDTPRSers listen to these songs with nostalgia. That is what one might call a generation gap.

  18. ShihanRob says:

    Dude, er, Father Dude, you are old!

    Coincidentally, those same songs were released and popular the year I was born, too!


  19. Supertradmum says:

    Popular the year I was born–Some Enchanted Evening and Vaughan Monroe’s version of Riders of the Sky. The second one is creepy.

    The first one I really like, but as a baby, I only remember the Joy Soap commercial I sang as a little one–Joy, Joy, Joy.


  20. Menagerie says:

    Never know what I might find on Father Z’ s sight, but it’s always worth the daily look. Fun, or something my soul needs. Thank you for such a fine combo.

  21. mysticalrose says:

    I thought I didn’t know any of these, but wasn’t the Mack the Knife song on a McDonalds commercial ?

  22. majuscule says:

    This is who I think of when I think of someone singing Mack the Knife!

    Louis Armstrong!

    Weirdly enough I was presented with an ad I could skip in 5 seconds before seeing the video…I was going to skip but the people started praying! Eventually I did skip…it appeared to be a trailer for a series about the rapture or something…LOL!

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    An American Mother,

    I think I have been enjoying the English “Mack” since around when Fr. Z was born (though how much I understood as a toddler…), only much later encountering “the all-round creepy nastiness of Brecht’s original”, which is somehow enjoyable in a creepy-nasty bitter satirical way (“grosse Feuer in Soho, … minderjähr’ge Witwe…”: whew!), though I think I was already enjoying (and so, ready to prefer) The Beggar’s Opera when I got to know Brecht’s remake – though, again, John Gay raises matters of the enjoyment of satire and of the picaresque… (But why has his sequel, Polly, never be revived and recorded again since the 1920s?!)

    “Who are the good guys?” Queen Victoria? (Or am I sailing under the influence of Shirley Temple’s Little Princess, here?)

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    The last full-scale revival of The Beggar’s Opera was in 192o-something at the Lyric in Hammersmith – I have a copy of the score which has very helpful source notes. Lawrence Olivier (of all people) was in a film version, and Benjamin Britten (of all people!) heavily revised a new version some time in the 50s. The BBC put on a version with rocker Roger Daltrey (of all people!!!) as Macheath. All THAT did was play up Daltrey’s entire lack of actual singing skill – I hope they didn’t pay him too much.
    Since Jenny is a small role (unless her husband is writing the music), I would like to sing Mrs. Peachum. She has some nice arias – “Virgins are like the fair flow’r in its lustre”, “If any wench Venus’ girdle wear” and “Our Polly is a sad slut”. And you have to sing them in the grand Italian style, festooned with ornaments, for it to be funny (as Mr. Gay and Mr. Pepusch intended).
    Polly may have never caught on just because it is so obviously a sequel . . . but it does have PIRATES!!!!

  25. AnAmericanMother says:

    A friend of my parents, a most sophisticated Viennese – one of only two survivors of his extended family courtesy of Hitler’s Anschluss – recalled as a young teen going to see Dreigroschenoper. He said that that verse of “Mackie Messer” was a dreadful shock.

  26. Don’t you dare ever do a comb-over. OR ANYTHING ELSE. My brother-in-law’s mother had a very sad funeral with a priest who didn’t even know her, AND he wore a toupee.

    It’s just unspeakable.

    This morning on the car radioI heard – and sang along to – Der Bingle’s version of ‘Young at Heart’. You can consider this dedicated to you, for today.

  27. AnAmericanMother says:

    Agree 100%. All the men of our family bade farewell to their hair at a VERY early age (my dad in his twenties). No combovers, no toupees . . . about the only acknowledgement was to wear a shorter haircut. And we loved them all anyway!

  28. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I have heard literally none of these songs and listened to 60’s protest songs in my high school history class for the purpose of cultural understanding. Some of my fellow WDTPRSers listen to these songs with nostalgia. That is what one might call a generation gap.”

    Oh, yeah? Well, I still listen to Benny Goodman and even my parents are hard-pressed to remember him, live. No one really wants to learn about their roots, anymore, sigh. If you play jazz, you’ve got to hear recordings of Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Coltrane, etc. We’ve had writing for thousands of years, but the Twentieth-century is the first time in recorded history that sound has become an object of historical preservation. Think about that – only within the last 100 years do we have any record of sounds from history. It has only been 200 years since we have had photography, but a skilled painter/sketcher can do the equivalent, so we’ve had visual records for at least 1000 years (in any format that is portrait-like), but sound – it is the new kid on the block.

    I can’t says as I like the developments in contemporary pop music, but some of the good stuff still slips in. I have no fear of Rock music, because the darned stuff is, by and large, unperformable outside of a recording studio. It is not like orchestral music where any competent group will sound pretty much the same. No one will ever be able to perform, Scarborough Fair, by Simon and Garfunkel the way it sounds on the recording. The truly historical modern pop music is the folk song. Bob Dylan’s music, Judy Collins’s – their music can be performed live, apart from recordings. What really frightens me, however, is the rise of electronics. I am waiting for the first serious realistic movie made entirely from 3d models. We are getting very close. Actors, watch your backs. Musicians are already feeling the heat. They did a (off?)-Broadway show last year with an entirely computerized pit orchestra.

    There may come a time when the arts have become so de-personalized that human performances will become a novelty. It may be that becoming a priest will allow for the only human contact some people will get. One cannot have a, “virtual,” priest, thank God. There will be no Papal Mainframe (Dr. Who fans, take note).

    The Chicken

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Scanning the events of the year are interesting. It is, also, the year St. Pope John XIII fist called for a Vatican II.

    The Chicken

  30. wmeyer says:

    AAM, I have enjoyed both Threepenny and John Gay’s original. Your comments reminded me, however, that those recordings are only in my boxes of vinyl… yet another reason for me to get serious about transfer to CDs. Can I safely assume that you know of Patricia O’Callaghan? If not, I recommend her highly. She is classically trained, and delivers 30’s lieder in operatic style. Great fun.

    As to popular songs from my own birth year, Peggy Lee singing Manana, Dinah Shore Buttons and Bows, and Spike Jones’ version of William Tell Overture.

  31. Jacqueline Y. says:

    Well Father, when you were in the cradle I was thirteen and had a crush on Frankie Avalon even though I knew Paul Anka was a better singer. It’s nice to know that Frankie Avalon has been married to the same woman (with whom he raised eight kids) since 1963.

  32. robtbrown says:

    Cafea Fruor says:
    Trivia answer: Lotte Lenya, who was an actree in From Russia with Love, was married to the guy who wrote “Mack the Knife”, I think.

    Yep, and she is mentioned in Bobby Darin’s version of the song.

    She plays Rosa Klebb, a Bond enemy.

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