Listen to Episode 43 Here

This week we start off with Wilbur Mack and then highlight the brilliant career of Carmen Lombardo. Born and raised in London, Ontario, this brilliant Canadian songwriter, arranger and performer wrote some of the best standards in the business, covered by everyone from Jolson to Django.

Carmen Lombardo at bottom right with brothers, Guy, Victor and Lebert and sister Rose Marie

The Genealogy of “I Am My Own Grandpa”

In the song, the narrator marries a widow with an adult daughter. Subsequently, his father marries the widow’s daughter. This creates a comic tangle of relationships by a mixture of blood and marriage; for example, the narrator’s father is now also his stepson-in-law. The situation is complicated further when both couples have children.

Although the song continues to mention that both the narrator’s wife and stepdaughter had children by the narrator and his father, respectively, the narrator actually becomes “his own grandpa” once his father marries the woman’s daughter.

  • The narrator marries the older woman.
    • This results in the woman’s daughter becoming his stepdaughter.
  • Subsequently, the narrator’s father marries the older woman’s daughter.
    • The woman’s daughter, being the new wife of the narrator’s father, is now both his stepdaughter and his stepmother. Concurrently, the narrator’s father, being his stepdaughter’s husband, is also his own stepson-in-law.
      • The narrator’s wife, being the mother of his stepmother, makes her both spouse and step-grandmother.
        • The husband of the narrator’s wife would then be the narrator’s step-grandfather. Since the narrator is that person, he has managed to become his own (step-step)grandfather. The “step-step” concept applies because the step-father of your step-mother would be your step-step-grandfather, making a “double step” event possible.

The song continues with

  • The narrator and his wife having a son.
    • The narrator’s son immediately becomes the half-brother of his stepdaughter, as the narrator’s wife is the mother of both.
      • Since his stepdaughter is also his stepmother, then the narrator’s son is also his own step-and/or half-uncle because he is the (half-)brother of his (step-)mother.
        • The Narrator’s son would then become a brother-in-law to the narrator’s father, because he is the (half-)brother of the father’s wife.
  • The narrator’s father and his wife (the narrator’s stepdaughter) then had a son of their own.
    • The child would then become the narrator’s grandson because he is the son of his (step-)daughter.
      • The son would also become the (half-)brother of the narrator because his father is also the narrator’s.
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