, October 2004
"If, like me, you are of `a certain age', you will love these songs, and will quite possibly find yourself dewy-eyed with nostalgia. There are some great classics here, for example Danny Kaye's wonderful `The Little Fiddle', another of his musical fables, in which said petite violin has a wicked guardian who masquerades as a french horn but turns out to be a glockenspiel in disguise. `Tubby the Tuba' is here too, but alas! not the Danny Kaye version. However, I have to say that Victor Jory does it really well, and aficionados will not be disappointed (not too seriously, anyway!)
Of course, there are some arch numbers - principally `The Good Ship Lollipop' and `Little Man You've Had a Busy Day' - which I used to find nauseating as a child, particularly the latter which taught me the meaning of the word `patronising'. The sugary flavour continues in the two A.A.Milne songs in Fraser-Simson's settings. The songs themselves are attractive, but, as delivered in little Ann Stephens' quavering treble, they are, frankly, quite hard to take! All of these are real `period-pieces', though, and it's good to have them.
There's masses of fun here, in numbers like Gene Kelly's delightful `Worry Song', and appearances by famous cartoon characters like Daffy Duck and Popeye the Sailor Man. Good timing by Naxos means that there is a couple of Christmas favourites, too - Rosemary Clooney's `Suzy Snowflake', and Spike Jones' `All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth', which incorporates a splendidly daft version of `Jingle Bells'.
The transfers, supervised by David Lennick, are superb - go on, spoil yourself!