Danny Kaye was a great actor, singer, dancer and comedian. He also was a wonderful storyteller, as you’ll hear in the album I’m featuring today, Danny Kaye Tells Six Stories From Faraway Places.
The first story is called “Nail Broth,” a Swedish story about a tramp who finds a cottage where a stingy old woman lives. He shows the woman how to make nail broth. He starts by putting a nail in a pot of boiling water and gradually asking the woman for more and more ingredients to add to the broth to make it even better. The old woman was very impressed with the wonderful broth that was just made with a nail!
Next we have a Bantu story called “The Tale of the Name of the Tree.” In this story, there was a famine in the land. There was a large tree with delicious fruit, but the only way to get the fruit to drop was to say the name of the tree. Different animals were assigned to go to the wise man and find the tree’s name. However, by the time each of the animals got back to the tree they had forgotten the name. Would anybody be able to say the tree’s name? (Of course, or there wouldn’t be any story!)
Finally, we have a story that was requested by Dw Dunphy a few months ago called “Master of All Masters,” a Scottish story that Kaye tells with gusto. Basically, a man instructs his new servant to call things in his house by unusual names. For instance, he wants his trousers to be referred to as “squibs and crackers.” They never say why he wants this, but it does make for a delightfully silly story.
If you’d like to hear the rest of the stories on this album, you can find the whole thing here.