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Thursday, February 19, 2015

YOUR FEET'S TOO BIG meets ALLEY-OOP and other songs you can't forget... or don't want to


Your Feet's Too Big

Say up in Harlem at a table for two
There were four of us, me, your big feet and you
From your ankles up, I'd say you sure are sweet
From there down there's just too much feet

Oh, there's more of course, but you get the idea. It was written* and then sung by Fats Waller in 1936 and many others since then, including The Beetles. It is one of the songs in the Broadway musical review, Ain't Misbehavin', a musical tribute to the black musicians of the 1920s and '30s... and a great show that is still being performed around the country.

Novelty songs have always been a big part of our musical 'ear' but they have faded somewhat as we turned 21 centuries old. Seems we had more fun with our music then... before rap gave us today's somber-storied lyrics. These songs were supposed to make us laugh, or at least smile, with lyrics fun to sing and remember.

(If you remember any of these songs and their tunes, you are, like my friend Ron, oldish. But fear not, you can hear them all and/or read the lyrics on YouTube or from the Top 100 list below.)

There was The Witch Doctor by David Seville in 1958 that had us singing:

Ooh, eeh, ooh aah aah 
Ting, tang,walla walla bing bang
Ooh, eeh ooh aah aah 
Ting tang walla walla bing bang

Yellow Polka dot bikini
And Alley Oop and Mr. Custer and Kookie, Kookie (Lend me your comb) and They're Coming to Take Me Away (Ha Haaa!) and Little Blue Riding Hood and Along Came Jones and Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills and Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and LOTS MORE!

I learned French by singing The Little Shoemaker:

Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.
Bailaremos tutusi.
Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.
Bailaremos con cosi.

Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing
Dancing all my cares away


Oh, they laughed when I tried that in Paris, but what do they know? They have a different word for everything.

These songs were fun when we seemed more light-hearted and 'fun-loving.' But if this is not your thing and you like a song that is popular today and will last forever, how about It's a Small, Small World? Forget that if you can.

Wanna see lots more you may never have heard of? Here's a Top 100 list from good friend Del who might know Sigfried and Roy, but probably not. Del loved music so much he invented and patented 'the musical bicycle seat' in the form of a multi-speaker mp3 player fixed below that surrounded you from the butt up with 'hill climin' music' baby, and that's the truth.

*Also by Fred Fisher and Ada Benson


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