Friday, January 18, 2013

(It’s Later Than You Think!)

The most popular version of this song, recorded by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, was made late in November of 1949. Vocals by Kenny Gardner & The Lombardo Trio. The recording was released by Decca Records as catalog number 24825.

The record first reached the Billboard charts on January 13, 1950 and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at #10.

Contemporary versions have been recorded by Amber, The Specials, The English Beat, The Busters, Todd Snider, and Jodie Holland. However, Guy Lombardo's version is as young and fun as it has always been, mostly because of the lyrics (see below).

I remember as a young boy listening to this very recording on the "Victrola" in the basement “rec room” of my parents’ house. I thought it was fun, but only realized its significance in later years. The tone may be light-hearted, but the words are all too true. I remember also seeing Guy Lombardo at the Waldorf Astoria in New York celebrating New Year's Eve with the entire nation over the airwaves on the exciting new medium called television. Enjoy Yourself became a standard feature of these festivities for several years running.

You work and work for years and years,
You're always on the go
You never take a minute off,
Too busy makin' dough
Someday you say, you'll have your fun,
When you're a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you'll have
In your old rockin' chair

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, 
it's later than you think!

You're gonna take that ocean trip,
No matter come what may
You've got your reservations made,
But you just can't get away
Next year for sure, you'll see the world,
You'll really get around
But how far can you travel when
You're six feet underground?

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, 
it's later than you think!

Your heart of hearts, your dream of dreams,
Your ravishing brunette
She's left you and she's now become
Somebody else's pet
Lay down that gun, don't try my friend
To reach the great beyond
You'll have more fun by reaching for
A redhead or a blond

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, 
it's later than you think!

~ Music by Carl Sigman; words by Herbert Magidson  


  1. Excellent selection for this Friday, FreeThinke!

    This song has a great message.

    I love the music of this era, and my youngest daughter does too. The older ones used to like it, but they grew out of it.

    The big band sound, and later Louie Armstrong, Dean Martin, Perry Como, etc. What a wonderful era in American popular music.

    It makes me foolishly nostalgic for a time I never knew.

  2. Definitely good advice in light song. I like it.

    Guy Lombardo is synonymous with New Years and his rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Funny how he likely more adored and more famous around the world than he is appreciated even in his old home town. A Guy Lombardo museum died for lack of interest, or lack of customers even though it sat near a bridge named after him.

  3. " ... the secret message between the lines of the totalitarian appeal to follow the master is, "If you follow me, you may." You may with impunity rape, sexually harass, kill, etc.

    "I know this from personally talking to some years ago members of the old regime in Belgrade. There message was, 'Before we were living this regulated life. Now at the point of us becoming Serb ethnic fundamentalists is that we may.'

    "Even before Adorno and Horkheimer, [Bertolt] Brecht was attentive to this falsely liberating aspect of fundamentalism.

    "Totalitarianism is not only [a] 'safe haven, firm values, we give you a sense of stability', it’s also a kind of false liberation."

    Yes Gods, FJ! The essay you cite is absorbing up to a point, but only you -- or someone like you, if such there be -- could possibly draw a connection between a nostalgic piece of fluff with a practical message embedded in it like Enjoy Yourself and the dark musings of German intelleKtucals.

    Sometimes "shallow" ain't so bad, you know?

    We need a lot more "shallow" in my opinion.

    Now BACH and BEETHOVEN are different. They are powerful, profound, complex, majestic, mysterious, overwhelmingly brilliant, but at root always edifying, energizing and ennobling.

  4. On Bertolt Brecht, cited as an early inspiration to Theo Adorno and Max Horchheimer of the infamous Frankfurt School in the essay on human psychology linked by FJ:

    From his late twenties Brecht remained a lifelong committed Marxist who, in developing the combined theory and practice of his "epic theatre", synthesized and extended the experiments of Erwin Piscator and Vsevolod Meyerhold to explore the theatre as a forum for political ideas and the creation of a critical aesthetics of dialectical materialism.

    "[Brecht believed] a play should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or action before him or her, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the action on the stage.

    "Brecht thought that the experience of a climactic catharsis of emotion left an audience complacent. Instead, he wanted his audiences to adopt a critical perspective in order to recognise social injustice and exploitation and to be moved to go forth from the theatre and effect change in the world outside."


    PHEW! I'll take Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians any day over that.

    Shallow and Silly beats Mad and Destructive every time.

  5. Indulge. Cigarettes w/o nicoteen. Coffee w/o caffein. Soda w/o calories.

    Don't "moderate" your consumption. There are no limits to the pleasure you should have.

    Sex w/o pregnancy. Pregnancy w/o pain of birth. No consequences or "reasons" to moderate and/or limit your pleasures...

    You don't find this message disconcerting?

  6. You don't see the roots of modern malaise in it?

  7. People need to understand the concept of "limit". The government needs to grasp thisconcept as well.

  8. Zizek may be a commie... but he's also a Lacanian.

  9. We have lost the ability to take things as they are and therefore must find alternative meanings in every fun activity.

    After all, we all know evil is lurking behind every door and around every corner.

    Especially those you're unfamiliar with. Rigt?

    Lively music, fun lyrics. So, lets make the most of EACH AND EVERY DAY BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT AND FUN THING TO DO.

    Nothing more...

    Lighten up FT, life i ntooshort...

  10. His saxophones always seemed to be tuned a half tone apart.

  11. Don't let all that put you off seeing Brecht performed, despite all the earnest intent he's pretty good fun.

  12. FT,
    As I posted at my web site, Tammy Swofford is paying the AOW household a visit for a few days. It's good to have a life that has nothing to do with the Internet.

    There is so much more to life than blogging (and the like)!

  13. You have a positive GENIUS for missing the point, Canardo.

    So, apparently, does Les. I find it incredible -- and also vastly amusing -- that LES would tell ME to "lighten up" at a post that was deliberately designed to do exactly that.

    Oh well ... half the fun of blogging is to get to know the minds of your interlocutors as revealed in their commentary.

  14. And Jez, I've never allowed any artist's professed political orientation, sexual orientation, personal peccadillos, or the reported quality of his, her, or its domestic life to affect my appreciation for his, her or its work in the least.

    HOWEVER, when I get the distinct feeling that polemics or propaganda is being fobbed off as "a work of art," my hackles rise, and I tend to resist whatever appeal there might be to the proceedings.

    I'm not accusing Brecht of that. I was actually thinking more of Ayn Rand whose stolidly tendentious prose and stilted, wooden dialogue greatly mar her reputation as a "novelist." An allegorist, perhaps, but a novelist?


    Art may certainly INSTRUCT and ENLIGHTEN, but it should never be overtly DIDACTIC.

  15. In my limited experience of Brecht, he is less didactic than eg. CS Lewis (whom I also greatly enjoyed).

    Don't you find that an artist's intentions often has surprisingly little to do with the work he creates?

  16. "Don't you find that an artist's intentions often has surprisingly little to do with the work he creates?"

    YES -- absolutely! Of course I've long seen "Art" more as a process of "DISCOVERY" than "CREATIVITY."

    One of my piano teachers actually knew and worked with Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann --another with Feruccio Busoni, Edwin Fischer, and Tobias Matthay.

    Brahms in particular was very generous toward performers and other composers. From what I was told he was often surprised and delighted when a performer came up with new insights and different ways of playing Brahms' own works for piano and violin. I believe most of the truly great ones prefer the fresh approach -- i.e. making it a new thing every time it's played.

    When all this great stuff was still new performers were expected to add touches of their own and improvise cadenzas, etc. Then, as we moved farther an farther from the source, the strict preservationists fearing al sense of authenticity would be lost took over and battened down the hatches, as it were.

    Instrumentalists today actually play far better than most of them did 80-150 years ago, but the relentless pursuit of absolute technical perfection has resulted in a loss of spontaneity and a certain uniformity of interpretation that -- sometimes -- has a stifling, almost sterilizing effect on emotional content of the music.

    The difference between beautifully-crafted Dresden Dolls waltzing in suspended animation under glass domes, and warm-blooded, beautifully dressed, actual human beings dancing to the Vienna Philharmonic's live performance of a waltz by Johann Strauss.

    When we come right down to it, there's no comparison between the two.

    The problem with allowing complete spontaneity is the very real danger that perverse, grotesque distortions of the composer's "original intent" ;-) could occur, because -- and here we may come a parting of the ways, I don't know -- not ALL approaches to musical interpretation are of equal value by any means.

    An no, there is no "scientific," mathematically reliable method of proving that, but I don't know any serious, classically trained musicians who would agree that "Anything Goes" could possibly be a valid approach to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, et al.

    This is where Art and Science diverge, I believe.



We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––


Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.