1001 Songs Challenge,  1940s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #20: Java Jive (1940)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


The Ink Spots – Java Jive (1940)

Java Jive (song)

Java Jive is a song written by Ben Oakland and Milton Drake in 1940 and most famously recorded by The Ink Spots. The lyrics speak of the singer’s love of coffee. The lyrics also reflect the slang of the day, including a reference to ” Mr. Moto”, a Japanese film spy.

Lyrics (via Genius)


From South Africa, we head back to the US and our odyssey also takes us into the 1940s for our latest musical venture. Today’s artists are The Ink Spots and the song in question is Java Jive. Unusually for this list so far we have a song that isn’t sombre and it isn’t about love, well, not of the romantic Person A meets Person B variety at least. It’s about love for something different, albeit something very special.

Java Jive is quite simply about one’s love for coffee. This will likely have got the attention of many of you for there are a treasure trove of memes to be found in tribute to the humble coffee and its medicinal effects in getting one up and running for the day. Java Jive speaks of a love for coffee (not for me personally) and tea (you’ve got my attention now) and how the coffee loves the drinker as well. It is a cute ode to a popular beverage.

It’s good to be back in the US for the latest on this musical journey. The Ink Spots’ song is a catchy little number and offers a simple subject as well. I don’t have a love of coffee myself but Java Jive does capture the fondness so many people have for this beverage and the many forms it takes should one find themselves in their local Costa Coffee, Starbucks, or whatever your drinking establishment of choice may be.


Favourite song so far:

Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit (1939)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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