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Shirley Bassey - The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men (1976 Show #1)

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Published on Oct 31, 2011

1976 (Shirley performs this sultry but sad torch (style) song with her own unique richly dramatic vocal style on her 1976 TV Variety Show. This song was originally written by Tommy Wolf and Fran Landesman for the musical, 'The Nervous Set' but the words can mean many different things to many people.)

Shirley recorded and released this song on her 1972 LP titled, 'And I Love You So'

ABOUT this song:
This song is from the 1959 Musical called, 'The Nervous Set'. The Nervous Set, the jazz musical born in St. Louis' legendary Gaslight Square entertainment district in 1959, described the Beat Generation, the young people in post-World War II, pre-Vietnam America, swimming in disillusioned angst and apathy, angry, poetic and nihilistic. But this was not a musical about the Beats; this was a Beat Musical, funny, biting, outrageous, despairing, and brilliantly witty. Stubbornly refusing to give the audience a boffo finale, refusing even to offer them people to care about or the satisfaction of applause, doggedly determined to offend, discomfort, even repel now and then.

But even through the haze of verbal and emotional fog, The Nervous Set is also truthful, a serious social document, a record of a time and place that should never be forgotten, when America had lost its way and lost track of what's important. It is a loving evocation of the Beat Generation, with all its warts and contradictions, all its nihilism and its earth-shattering realignment of modern literature and poetry. Everyone knows about the hippies, but how many people know where the hippies came from?

The Nervous Set opened on March 10, 1959, in a three hundred seat saloon-theatre-club called the Crystal Palace, in the heart of the Gaslight Square entertainment district in St. Louis. Strange as it might seem to those who weren't there, for almost a decade in the late fifties and early sixties, Gaslight Square was an international mecca for Beat writers, up-and-coming comedians, and jazz musicians, like yet-to-be-stars Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Barbra Streisand, Phyllis Diller, the Smothers Brothers, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Alan Arkin, and so many others.

For more information on this Musical you can go on line and type in, 'The Nervous Set'

LYRICS:
Sing a song of sad young men,
glasses full of rye
All the news is bad again,
kiss your dreams goodbye
All the sad young men,
sitting in the bars
Knowing neon nights,
and missing all the stars
All the sad young men,
drifting through the town
Drinking up the night,
trying not to drown
All the sad young men,
singing in the cold
Trying to forget,
that they're growing old
All the sad young men,
choking on their youth
Trying to be brave,
running from the truth
Autumn turns the leaves to gold,
slowly dies the heart
Sad young men are growing old,
that's the cruelest part
All the sad young men,
seek a certain smile
Someone they can hold,
for just a little while
Tired little girl,
does the best she can
Trying to be gay,
for a sad young men
While a grimy moon,
watches from above
All the sad young men,
who play at making love
Misbegotten moon
shine for sad young men
Let your gentle light
guide them home again
All the sad,
sad,
sad,
young men

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