Friday, September 7, 2018

Wine: (Have Some) Madeira M’dear

Flanders and Swann: Madeira M’dear


The Limeliters: Have Some Madeira M’dear


Have Some Madeira M’dear is a song that I married into. It was a favorite of my late father-in-law, and I had never heard it until my wife introduced me to it. My father-in-law had a fine sense of humor, and this one also appealed to his lecherous tendencies. The Limeliters were the nearest rivals in popularity to the Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. These three were at the top of what I think of as the pop-folk genre. For a great gentle satire of the excesses of that genre, find and watch the movie A Mighty Wind. Still, pop-folk did include some very talented musicians, and that certainly included the Limelighters. Have Some Madeira M’dear is a song that I hope will not offend any of our readers and listeners. It describes in a humorous way something which certainly is not humorous in real life: date rape. But the song is not meant to be real life at all. It is a send up of Edwardian social mores, and the genteel way in which it describes something I feel sure the songwriters would not have approved of is the joke, certainly not the act itself.

I only discovered in researching this post that The Limeliters were not the songwriters on this one, but I might have known. Now that I do, it seems obvious that this one must have been written by British artists, in this case the duo of Flanders and Swann. Michael Flanders and Donald Swann were a musical and comedy duo active roughly from the end of World War II until the mid 1960s. During their career, they would even write operettas. But Madeira M’dear, as they titled the song, is probably their best known song nowadays. You may also know the Hippopotamus Song. That’s the one that has the chorus that starts with “Mud, mud, glorious mud…” I had not remembered that there were verses until I worked on this post.

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