Monday, January 29, 2018

Aliens: Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer

Ella Fitzgerald: Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer


Don’t feel bad if you never heard of this one. Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer is one for Ella Fitzgerald completists. It comes from 1951, fairly late in the swing era. The soldiers have been back from World War II for some time now, and rock and roll will be unleashed on an unsuspecting world very soon. The songwriters on this one were Arthur Pitt and Elaine Wise. I could find no other credits for Pitt, and Wise wrote two other songs also recorded in 1951, and then disappeared from pop music history as well.

Having said all that, this is a fun song, and Fitzgerald sings it with the perfect light hearted tone. Before we are done with our Aliens theme, we may well hear a song that takes the concept of humans seen through alien eyes far more seriously. It’s a device for criticizing humanity that can be very powerful. But Two Little Men has fun with the idea. Not knowing the rules of baseball, for example, these planetary visitors simply shake their heads in a non-judgemental way and leave Earth. There is a little gag about politicians here, but it is nopartisan and played for laughs. I am not going to tell you that this is classic Ella Fitzgerald, but it is a fine example of her playful side, and it makes me wonder why there weren’t more songs recorded by Pitt and Wise.

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