Thursday, January 1, 2009

May You Always

Harry Harrison was a popular disc jockey in the New York Metropolitan area for almost fifty years. He began his career in Chicago and moved to New York in the late 1950's where he became the mid-morning man at WMCA-AM. He moved to WABC-AM in 1968 and WCBS-FM in 1970, where he remained until the station switched formats in 2003. While at WMCA he recorded May You Always - a holiday greeting to his listeners. It soon became a much-requested holiday tradtion and was a fixture in New York radio for decades. Yes, it's overly sentimental and shmaltzy, but those are not necessarily bad things and it seems like a nice way to start off 2009.

First, Harry's original recording courtesy of YouTube:

Here are the words to the version Harry played while at WCBS-FM. You'll notice a few changes (Sweepstakes became Lottery and the verse about lighting the wrong end of a cigarette was removed completely).

May You Always

As the holiday bells ring out the old year, and sweethearts kiss,
And cold hands touch and warm each other against the year ahead
May I wish you not the biggest and best of life,
But the small pleasures that make living worthwhile.

Sometime during the new year, to keep your heart in practice,
May you do someone a secret good deed and not get caught at it
May you find a little island of time to read that book and write that letter
And to visit that lonely friend on the other side of town

May your next do-it-yourself project not look like you did it yourself
May the poor relatives you helped support remember you when they win the lottery
May your best card tricks win admiring gasps and your worst puns, admiring groans
May all those who told you so, refrain from saying “I told you so.”

May all the predictions you’ve made for your firstborn’s future come true
May just half of those optimistic predictions that your high school annual made for you come true
In a time of sink or swim, may you find that you can walk to shore before you call the lifeguard
May you keep at least one ideal you can pass along to your kids.

For a change, some rainy day, when you're a few minutes late
May your train or bus be waiting for you
May you accidentally overhear someone saying something nice about you
If you run into an old school chum
May you both remember each other’s names for introductions
If you order your steak medium rare, may it be so
And if you’re on a diet
May someone tell you “You’ve lost a little weight,” without knowing you’re on a diet.

May that long and lonely night be brightened by the telephone call that you’ve been waiting for
When you reach into the coin slot, may you find the coin that you lost on your last wrong number
When you trip and fall, may there be no one watching to laugh at you or feel sorry for you

And sometime soon may you be waved to by a celebrity
Wagged at by a puppy
Run to by a happy child
And counted on by someone you love
More than this, no one can wish you.


  1. THe missus and I spent the New Year trying to keep eah other awake long enough to watch the ball drop in Times Square. The biys wanted to watch talentless teen sensation The Joans Brother lip synch so we woke them in time for that. Jonah had an MD appointment for a routine check up with his neurologist in Boston so we had to be on the road at 06:00 to get there. By the time the evening came around we were fully knackered. The missus told me I was evil for making fun of Dick Clark ( like my evilness is hidden or something ). Anyway, i think i do a perfectly find post stroke Dick Clark imitation. Beauty as they say is in the ear of the beholdress and she begged to differ. Otherwise it has been a quiet few weeks. I think you should open an add the caption contest for the Guy Lombardo and Satchmo photo. That way I can start churning my evil mind now. The winner will of course win a lavish meal at the restaurant of their choice courtesy of you along with a limo ride and a selection of other lavish gifts. Can't wait !

  2. Deranged minds truly do think alike - I was thinking about having a caption contest for that photo. While doing research on Guy I found out that most jazz artists made fun of him but the Great Satchmo was a big fan. Go and figure that one. I happen to like Guy in a kitschy, nostalgia-tinged way.

    Your New Year's Eve was more exciting than ours. We are all sick around here (an assortment of viral/flu things)so both Kim and I fell asleep early. Fortunately, Connor woke us up at 11:30 so we could don party hats and, with an assortment of noise makers in hand, welcome in 2009. This was followed by my annual holiday tradition of alternating between watching the Twilight Zone Marathon on SciFi Channel and The Honeymooner's on NYC's WPIX (which I am fortunate to get courtesy of my other-wise crappy cable company).

    As for Dick Clark - I do recall making a less-than charitable comment about his post-stroke speaking style (but I didn't go so far as to imitate him - perhaps if I was feeling less under the weather...). Apparantly Kim is not as nice a person as your wife since she agreed with me.