Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, November 15, 2004


Listening to the Disney tribute album “Stay Awake” tonight reminded me:

In the history of nonsense syllables in English lyric, in the large gap between Shakespeare’s “Hey nonny nonny” and 1950s doo-wop’s syllabic explosion there was:

Disney’s “Hi Diddley Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me),” which echoed Mother Goose’s “Hey diddle diddle”;

And, Mother Goose, dates undetermined, but probably for the most part post-dating Shakespeare;

And, improvised scat singing;

And, Disney’s “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”;

Which was a faux-Fosterian homage to Stephen Foster’s faux minstrelsy -- “Camptown Racers Sing this Song, Doo-dah, Doo-dah.”

Leaving aside Louis and Ella as vocal improvisations meant to be heard, not read (though transcriptions are fun to read), and leaving aside Mother Goose as a special case (“my godmother Goose,” Robert Frost called her), between Shakespeare and doo-wop we got Stephen Foster’s faux minstrelsy, and probably real minstrelsy as well. I don’t know enough to know, nor do I know enough to know whether the minstrel tradition would have taken it from existing African American practices or invented it. Question for further reading.

Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
Disney Cruise
Hey, nice blog you've got here. :)
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