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January 5, 2005 - 'Palindrome' - 2005-01-04


Broadcast: January 5, 2005

AA: I'm Avi Arditti. Rosanne Skirble is away. This week on Wordmaster: some wordplay to start off 2005.

Each New Year we play a production inspired by a 1950s television series about a gunfighter named "Paladin." Only the skit is called "The Ballad of Palindrome."

A palindrome is something that reads the same backward or forward, like "a man, a plan, a canal: Panama." You might be wondering, what do palindromes have to do with the New Year?

Well, January is named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. Janus is shown with two faces: one looking backward, the other looking forward.

So a skit about palindromes seems a fitting way to mark the end of one year and the beginning of another. And so here now is the cowboy musical group Riders in the Sky, joined by singer and songwriter Johnny Western, with "The Ballad of Palindrome."

AUDIO: "The Ballad of Palindrome/Palindrome: The Scene with Johnny Western"

Riders in the Sky and Johnny Western with "The Ballad of Palindrome." It's from the 1998 album "A Great Big Western HOWDY!" on the Rounder Records label.

That's Wordmaster for this week. Our e-mail address is word@voanews.com. And our Web site is voanews.com/wordmaster. Wishing you all the best in 2005, I’m Avi Arditti.

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