The names of the participating countries in the current World Cup Soccer tournament remind me of 1950s song titles with names of cities in Europe and lovey dovey foreign phrases.
Rich and Famous
Once upon a time only the wealthy and famous could afford to fly in an airplane so the sophisticated minimum flew in style with men in dark suits, ties, bowler hats and the ladies wearing formal dresses, high-heels, fancy hats and gloves.
When commercial aviation took off in the U.S. the scenario changed. Companies like Boeing, Douglas, and Lockheed started making large multi-engine passenger planes. The cost of flying plummeted and the fellow on the street could finally afford a plane ticket. (Remember an Old John Wayne movie made in 1954 called, The High and the Mighty?)
As people travelled more often, exchanging visits across countries became a norm and names of famous cities were promoted in songs and movies to exploit the situation. Many of these 1950s songs became hits on the US and UK pop charts and even in the Malayan Peninsula (which included Singapore then) and other parts of Asia.
Songs with Country Names
Some of these titles were, Brazil, Africa, Wonderful Copenhagen, April in Portugal, Isle of Capri, Lisbon Antigua, I Love Paris, Tulips from Amsterdam, Marjoca Isle of Love and Three Coins in the Fountain. When folks tire of these places they learnt foreign phrases like, Ariverdeci Roma while the more polite ones, Vaya Con Dios.
Songs with Foreign Phrases
Then tourists started learning simple foreign phrases and picked up cultural activities from their travels. Lifestyles were exchanged as many times as exotic music and dances. The lyric writers penned phrases like, Bon Soir Dame, Inamorata, Besame Mucho, That's Amore, C'est Si Bon, Jambalaya, Petite Fleur, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize.
Many drank Tequila and learned to shake their bum-bum to the marimba rhythms of, Never On Sunday, Sway, Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White), The Laughing Samba and Mambo Italiano.
Songs with Foreign Ladies
When the American male got tired of Miss USA he took home with him, Little Dutch Girl, Fraulein or a China Doll. Then there's Lady of Spain, Belle from Barcelona and sexy Anna. Sometimes he would take her Under the Bridges of Paris to "make her dreams come true".
When she wanted to come home with him he said, Quizás Quizás Quizás. Even the Japanese were not forgotten as the west went east learning terms like, Chotto Matte Kudasai, Sakura and Sukiyaki. When it was all over they bid their darlings, Sayonara.
A Girl in Every Port:
Ricky Nelson summed it all up in 1961 with wild sincerity and, Travellin' Man became a cult hit because in every port he owned, "the heart of at least one lovely girl" and like Bobby Helms and Ferlin Husky, was so proud of his sweet, "Fraulein down from Berlin Town" and, "China Doll down in old Hong Kong".
Luckily it was the 60s, otherwise he could have contacted AIDS. VD wasn't so vicious. Not a coincidence that Travellin' Man and Tequila were written by the same man.
You Tube Song: Bon Soir Dame, Composed by Bud Dashiell.
LATEST NEWS: FIFA World Cup
The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro will tonight, 13th July 2014, have around 1,000 people performing a spectacle of music and dance during Brasil's 2014 FIFA closing ceremony.
Shakira and Carlinhos Brown will perform Dare; Alexandre Pires, Carlos Santana and Wyclef Jean will provide a rendition of the World Cup official anthem, We Will Find A Way. Then a medley of Brazilian songs from Pires and Ivete Sangalo.