Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm not quite sure if this fits in at all with being an adult child of an alcoholic, but I thought I would share with you a mysterious thing that happens to me from time to time, this time involving the song Ciribiribin.

Ciribiribin is a ballad by Italian songwriter Alberto Pestalozza. It was a standard of the big band era, recorded by a number of people including Frank Sinatra. How I came to focus on it was through a recent listening to the song Java Jive by the Ink Spots.

In the song at one point whomever is the lead sings
You know, well I'm not keen about a bean,
Unless it is a cheery cheery bean.
As it turns out, that line was supposed to be a pun and should have been sung
You know, well I'm not keen about a bean,
Unless it is a cheery beery bean.
This is roughly how the song name is pronounced in Italian.

Spurred on by reading how the lyric was supposed to go, I found a copy of Benny Goodman's band with Harry James on lead trumpet doing this song. I found it familiar and then remembered that I had heard it before for many many years as part of Glenn Miller's Jukebox Saturday Night. Since the Ink Spots section of JSN is a faux Ink Spots tune, I had always assumed the Harry James section was just a generic song to show off trumpet playing.

I also came to find that it was Harry James's signature song. I was aware who Harry James was of course, but only as a name in jazz history just as J.E.B. Stuart is only a name in American history to me (and war comic books, but I digress).

Well, and this is where my personality if not being an ACoA came in, I began listening to the song a lot. I mean obsessively. I found many different recordings of it, including several by James himself. There was a point were I "had" to listen to it at least once a day.

It was not long after I decided that I would write about the song that it finally stopped being a haunting presence in my life. I have no idea why I was drawn to the song and I will probably be drawn to it from this point forward. I say this because a similar thing happened with the song Perfidia many years before and it hasn't abated.

But, as I said, these things sometimes come over me out of nowhere and I just have to ride them out and deal. The joys of being me.

Harry James

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