Today’s entry is a story of discovery, although it’s possible that I’m the last person to discover this particular discovery, namely, the song, “Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo.”
I often listen to 1940s Radio, a wonderful Internet station broadcasting commercial free from Great Britain that plays music from the 1920s through the early 1950s with a special emphasis on swing. 1940s Radio loves the American classics, but also—as one would expect—plays plenty of British music from that period. The other night, “Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo” came floating across the Internet pond and into my ears for the first time.
In a sweat to learn all about this song, I turned to YouTube and there, much to my surprise, were 13 different videos all featuring this tune, which was originally released in 1955 by one Alma Cogan. Who was she? (Or am I the only one who has never heard of her before as well?) According to her Wikipedia page she “was an English singer of traditional pop music in the 1950s and early 1960s. Dubbed the ‘Girl with the Giggle in Her Voice,’ she was the highest paid British female entertainer of her era.” She charted a huge number of records in Britain many of which were covers of American female singers such as Rosemary Clooney. “Never Tango With an Eskimo” reached #7 on the U. K. singles chart, by the way.
I would love to know what inspired writer Tommie Connor to pen such a fun ditty, and you DO know Tommie Connor, though probably not by name. Connor is the author of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Clearly, the man had an impish sense of humor. (No doubt there is some busybody out there right now ready to be offended by the use of the term Eskimo or for that matter, offended that some Brit with a penchant for penning odes to an affair between a housewife and a mythical gift-giving being, culturally appropriated the tango in an effort to, of all things, make people smile. If such people would kindly book passage on a rocket and launch themselves into space, many of us would contribute towards the cost of the ticket. But I digress.)
There are videos of Alma singing “Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo,” but I have chosen a dance video from a 2013 episode of the British television show Strictly Come Dancing for your enjoyment. The song is played in its entirety, and the dancing is sure to bring a smile to your face. Let’s be about the smiles.