Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is that what's bothering you, Bunkie?

We were talking about something last week that inspired me to remember the famous line I quote in the title of this post. No one else could remember what I was talking about, so I did a little research online.

Ah! "The Old Philosopher" by a guy named Eddie Lawrence:
In September 1956, a single entitled "The Old Philosopher" rose to the Billboard Top 40 chart, a rare distinction for a comedy record by a little-known performer. It turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Eddie Lawrence, but nonetheless paved the way for his long comedy career.

In a four-minute routine, a crotchety, ridiculous-sounding character recounts a litany of nonsensical calamities. Speaking in a comically downtrodden, empathetic voice, you hear . . .
Hiya, folks.
Ya say ya lost your job today?
Ya say its 4 A.M. and your kids ain't home from school yet?
Ya say your wife went out for a corned beef sandwich last weekend - the corned beef sandwich came back, but she didn't?
Ya say your furniture is out all over the sidewalk 'cause ya can't pay the rent and ya got chapped lips and paper cuts and your feets all swollen up and blistered from pounding the pavement looking for work?

Is that whats troubling ya, fellow?


Well, lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with dignity and stick-to-it-iveness and you'll show the world, you'll show them where to get off.
You'll never give up, never give up, never give up . . . that ship!

Hey there, friend.
Ya say your radiators never worked all winter and now that its summer they started up again and ya can't turn them off?
Ya say your wife sent your lightweight suits to the cleaners and that means you'll have to wear your itchy tweeds this morning when they say it'll hit 106 and ya gotta meet an important business man in an hour and your bridge just broke and ya pasted it together with bubble gum and ya hope it don't fall apart while you're doing some fast talking to this man?
And - and your shoelace just busted and ya opened a big cut on your cheek trying to
even out your sideburns and your daughter's going out with a convict and your wife just confessed she gave your last sixty dollars as a deposit on an airplane hanger?
Is that what's troubling ya, friend?


Hey there, cousin.
Ya say ya can't pull your car out of the mud and you're in the middle of nowhere and its pouring rain and ya can't get the top back up and your paycheck's all blurred and your foot went right through the gas and your girl's screaming bloody murder; she's scared of the dark and a stroke of lightning splits your motor in half and your suit's shrinking up fast and ya start up the windy road on foot and sixty yards barbed wire hits ya right smack in the puss and ya both fall down in the mud and then a wild animal comes over and runs away with your shoes and your car blows up suddenly and your windshield-wiper ends up in your mouth and ya can't move and the mud's rising up to your nostrils and you're sinking fast and ya don't hear your girl screaming anymore?
Is that what's on your mind, cousin?


And now, this is the old philosopher saying, so long, folks.
Not the original recording. But one that Lawrence released a bit later that gives you the flavor:

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