L to R, Joe Gunderman, Evan Lewis, Craig Adams, and Erik Urycki
I was sitting with Vincent Dowling, the renowned actor and director, and I?m not sure quite how it came up, but Scarlet Ribbons became the source of our meandering conversation. He had a friend, an Irish tenor as I recall, who sang it to Vincent?s lovely daughters when they were young. ?I?ve always loved that song,? I told him, and the two of us started singing it, right there. Of all the songs that try to describe that amazing bond a father has with a daughter, this is one of the most powerful, perhaps because it says it indirectly, and simply. It doesn?t try to describe it, it makes you feel it.

So, flying in the face of that, ?We should make it into a Christmas scene,? said I, ?with an expanded story and you should voice it!? Well, sad to say, he moved on from Kent, Ohio, where we were sharing a wee nip at the time, and where he had been a guest director for the theater department at KSU. I hadn?t gotten the idea together quickly enough to connect with him for his end of the project, and for that I apologize both to him, and to you. Hopefully, together he and I will accomplish some other project down the line. That meant, though, if the idea was to still take shape, I had to voice it, which I admit was balm against the injury of missing Vincent?s brogue in the part.

But the inspiration finally did get flushed out, with little time to spare, and with the great help of Erik Urycki on guitar and lead vocal, Evan Lewis on double bass, and Craig Adams on backing vocal. Erik is the head man of The Speed Bumps, and Evan plays with him. Scarlet Ribbons, as it was written in the 1940s, isn?t a Christmas song, so those are my added lyrics. We also borrowed the Kingston Trio?s idea to play it in ? time, which I understand is not the way it was originally written. Frankly, although I know it has been recorded often, I don?t know it by anyone else. So with original lyrics which the Trio abridged added back, and mine giving it the seasonal touch, this is a paean to fathers and daughters everywhere, to both Danzig and Segal?s wonderful song, and the Trio?s beautiful rendering of it.

--Joe Gunderman