This version of SIDE BY SIDE, performed by Mr. Erickson at the February 2014 San Diego Jazz Party, has some surprises.
Eddie’s co-conspirators (some of them who may not know the script) are Johnny Varro, piano; Nicki Parrott, string bass; Chuck Redd, drums; Bria Skonberg, trumpet; Antti Sarpila, clarinet. But the spotlight is justifiably on Mr. Erickson, great guitarist, seductive vocalist, splendid improvisatory-theatre director and comedian, creating a sweet collective experience that turns comic at the end:
I read what I could about the closing verse and one source says that of course the author is Anonymous, but this set of lyrics is said to have originated during the Second World War. Seems right to me: the sort of thing that soldiers could sing to amuse themselves, that children could learn and horrify their parents, and that we could all remember — a sort of guilty pleasure.
May your happiness increase!