When I first thought of writing a piece of the Columbus Day holiday, I wasn't quite certain how I should approach it. There are any number of angles I could have taken.
When I was a boy, there was no question that Christopher Columbus was a hero. That was back in the days when all Americans felt good about the country. It wasn't the fashion to belittle the U.S. or denigrate the memory of those who were a part of our history.
Now, it's more politically correct to look at Columbus as someone other than a great man. There are some who question whether the whole idea of Europeans coming to populate this land was worthwhile at all.
In parts of the country, some cities no longer celebrate Columbus Day....it's Indigenous Peoples Day, instead.
Where the holiday is observed, it's usually only done by the Federal Government and.....of course, banks and Post Offices. Nobody who has a real job gets the day off.
Strangely, though, when I think of Christopher Columbus, I'm reminded of one of the swing records my dad would play whenever he was in the mood to hear the music of his youth. I can't recall the name of the band on that particular recording, but I always loved the upbeat tempo of the tune. The version I heard as a kid was instrumental; I wasn't aware that there were lyrics to the song until much later.
So, in honor of Christopher Columbus I want to post this YouTube video of a Hungarian Band performing the Andy Razaf tune "Christopher Columbus".
full screen version.