Time on My Hands

August 6, 2023

Audio Recording

ImageIf you enjoy Steyn's Song of the Week at SteynOnline, please note that there will be a live stage edition during February's Mark Steyn Caribbean Cruise - now offering booking exclusively to Mark Steyn Club members.

This week's Song of the Week arises from a confluence of factors:

First, I've just launched my variation on H G Wells's Time Machine, so a Song of the Week about time seems appropriate.

Second, on Friday's Clubland Q&A, I was talking about the great harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler, in connection with the late Sinéad O'Connor, so a Song of the Week featuring Larry Adler seems appropriate.

Third, I'm still on my sickbed with time on my hands, so a Song of the Week about having time on my hands seems appropriate.

And, finally, I referred to this show on our Q&A without realizing that we had not in fact aired it at SteynOnline. So I'm happy to correct that oversight. On today's episode Larry Adler takes us back to 1930 to help me tell the story of one of the all-time great Broadway flops that various parties from Fred Astaire to Bob Hope to Larry himself managed to survive - but not, ultimately, its magnificent composer. Nevertheless, from the rubble of a theatrical disaster came a great enduring song.

Click above to listen.

~This airing of our Serenade Radio Song of the Week is a special presentation. Thank you for your kind responses to this series. Our last airing, Edelweiss, was especially well-received. From Mark Steyn Club First Quarter Founding Member James Driskell:

Wonderful piece of work presenting the whole story. Thank you.

From First Day Founding Member Pat Duva:

I loved this essay when I first read it years ago, and loved listening to it read by Mark, along with the music. Thank you, Mark, for this gift.

From a Cotswolds Steyn Clubber, William Thomson:

Mark, that was/is brilliant. A lovely half hour. Just exactly right.

It certainly fit in well with my fellow Granite Stater John Barrett's plans for a night out:

Wonderful show again, Mark. How timely for us: On Father's Day we saw a community theater production of The Sound of Music and this half-hour added so much to our enjoyment of the song and the show.

And it brought back happy memories for First Hour Founding Member Brian Warner:

Many decades ago I played first clarinet in the pit orchestra of an excellent amateur production of Sound of Music. What a joy that was, and what a treat it was to listen to this. It brought back some wonderful memories for me. As always, I learned along the way.

Thank you!

And for First Month Founding Member Todd Hynes:

The stage version of The Sound of Music takes me back to what seems like a lifetime ago. My then 10-year old daughter, in her first ACTRA unionized job, had landed the role of Brigitta Von Trapp in a professional production and I proudly watched her develop and display her craft at home, rehearsals, and as many stage performances as I could manage to attend.

As with any of us, life has since thrown its share of curves and complications, but every time I hear Edelweiss I have no choice but to pause and wistfully remember a wonderful time long ago. My daughter and I sat yesterday and listened to your lovely remembrance together... thanks for a perfect Father's Day present Mark.

And finally, a word from First Year Founding Member Melissa Ward, for whom this particular song evokes an entirely different one:

Thank you for this. When I think of this flower, I think of the stella alpina of Northern Italy. My grandfather was Friulian and came to the United States after World War I in the early 1920's. He was a teenager. The song Stelutis Alpinis is like Edelweiss in that it is about a beloved homeland and the Alpini soldiers. It was written by Arturo Zardini.

Well, after all these weeks in Trieste, I regard myself as an honorary Friulian, so I'll have to look into that one.

Steyn Club members are welcome to respond to this week's show below. Alternatively, anybody can leave comments over at Serenade Radio, where they love hearing from listeners.

Steyn's Song of the Week airs thrice weekly on Serenade Radio in the UK, one or other of which broadcasts is certain to be convenient for whichever part of the world you're in:

5.30pm Sunday London (12.30pm New York)

5.30am Monday London (4.30pm Sydney)

9pm Thursday London (1pm Vancouver)

Whichever you prefer, you can listen from anywhere on the planet right here.