Early Nonsense Songs

Sometimes I don’t understand my brain. Often, actually. Today, for no reason, I woke up with the nonsense song, Chickery Chick, in my head, one of the first popular songs I remember. The lyrics go:

Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la
Check-a-la romey in a bananika
Bollika, wollika, can’t you see
Chickery chick is me?

That is just the chorus, of course, but that is all I remember and all that is running through my head (see the posting Earworms, 2/1/2016). You can hear the full song by Sammy Kaye on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AegOoQRd90E) . It was the number one song in 1945, I kid you not. The verses are just an excuse to repeat the chorus over and over.

The really first song I can remember was Mairzy Doats, a year earlier in 1944. It’s lyrics were:

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

The second verse explains the meaning which becomes obvious when sung slowly:

If the words sound queer
And funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing “Mares eat oats
And does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy”
(A kid will eat ivy, too, wouldn’t you?)

Those were strange times. You can hear that song by The Pied Pipers  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU2CKQQr90E

I must have learned the songs from my sister, Barbara, three years older. Certainly, I did not pick them up from my East Lansdowne friends, Eddie Vetter and Bill Scott who were even more musically challenged than I was. (I don’t remember either one ever sing, whistle, or even hum.)



About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in History, Popular culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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