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Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay

DigiTrad:
TAH RAH RAH BOOM DI AY
WILL YOU GO BOOM TODAY?


Related thread:
Tah Rah Rah Boomdiay (not for kids) (18)


Uncle_DaveO 26 Jan 00 - 11:18 AM
MMario 26 Jan 00 - 11:35 AM
Allan C. 26 Jan 00 - 11:40 AM
Áine 26 Jan 00 - 11:45 AM
Áine 26 Jan 00 - 11:48 AM
Rex 26 Jan 00 - 11:51 AM
Lesley N. 26 Jan 00 - 12:18 PM
DougR 26 Jan 00 - 03:35 PM
The Invisible Blazoona 26 Jan 00 - 11:54 PM
The Invisible Blazoona 27 Jan 00 - 12:49 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Jan 00 - 03:30 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 Jan 00 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 27 Jan 00 - 05:48 AM
Lesley N. 27 Jan 00 - 07:04 AM
Will Bakker 27 Jan 00 - 07:58 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Jan 00 - 03:28 AM
Joe Offer 16 Oct 02 - 08:33 PM
toadfrog 16 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 02 - 02:57 AM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 02 - 03:35 AM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 02 - 03:51 AM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 02 - 04:12 AM
Hrothgar 17 Oct 02 - 05:31 AM
Charley Noble 17 Oct 02 - 09:12 AM
mack/misophist 17 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM
Hrothgar 18 Oct 02 - 05:10 AM
Nigel Parsons 18 Oct 02 - 05:50 AM
toadfrog 27 Nov 02 - 09:25 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Nov 02 - 10:41 PM
open mike 28 Nov 02 - 03:05 AM
chico 29 Jul 05 - 05:25 AM
Vixen 29 Jul 05 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 Jul 05 - 12:11 PM
Charley Noble 28 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 09 - 02:09 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM
Azizi 28 Aug 09 - 02:42 PM
Charley Noble 28 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM
Q 01 Sep 09 - 10:13 PM
Charley Noble 01 Sep 09 - 10:29 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Sep 09 - 12:41 AM
Q 02 Sep 09 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Big T 17 Jan 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST 03 Jun 11 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,haakon 08 Sep 13 - 11:51 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 13 - 12:16 PM
YorkshireYankee 09 Sep 13 - 11:34 AM
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Subject: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:18 AM

I'm interested in when Tah Rah Rah BOOM di-Ay was published and popular. No, not the one on DT, the children's naughty parody, but the root song that was popular in "polite society".

My interest is because I'm trying to get a handle on the origin of a song I collected in the 40s, which ends with a reference to the Tah Rah song in the last line.

My pure GUESS is that Tah-Rah was popular before 1900, but a guess--and especially such a broad guess--is no use for my purposes.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:35 AM

Early 1890's based on what I could find at the Levy sheet music site. It appears to be contested as to who wrote it, though two of their items attribute the music to Angelo Asher, several don't list any lyricist, and about the same time they have several "I am the man who wrote ta ra ra boom dee ay"


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Allan C.
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:40 AM

Here is a look at one source: Boom


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Áine
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:45 AM

Dear Dave,

Here are some links from the Lester Levy collection:

Click here to see the words for the 'polite' version of the song.

Click here to see the 'Gentlemen's' version.

On my search results page, there is a song listed as 'I'm The Man That Wrote Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay', date of publication given as 1891/2. I would assume, therefore, that the original song was written prior to that year.

Best of luck, Áine


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Áine
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:48 AM

Well, it would appear that the Levy site does not store its search results. So, click here to go the advanced search page on the Levy site and follow the directions. I entered 'Ta' in the first line, 'Ra' in the second, and 'Boom' in the third line to get the results I mentioned in my last post. Be sure to designate 'all tags' for the search.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Rex
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:51 AM

Popular Songs of 19th Century America lists the publishing date as 1891.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 12:18 PM

This from the Fireside Book of American Songs:

TRRBDE was published in 1891. Herny Sayers, the composer, frankly says that the tune originated in Babe Bonner's famous St. Louis brother, sung by the fabulous nego singer Mama Lou. Sayers' song was a complete failure: America would have nothign to do with it. A year later, Lottie Collins, well-known music-hall singer of the day, sang it in London. Overnight it became a sensation. The music-hall crowds delighted in its rollicking rhythm and its nonsensical lines. Brought back to America by Lottie Collins in 1894 it was greeted with t he sam wild enthusiasm that the English had accorded it, and has remained on of America's most popular songs. (page 23)

Neat information!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:35 PM

Looks as though you have found what you asked for but I can relate an interesting use for the song. In an old Will Rodgers movie (early or mid 1930s) the story line involved a trotting horse that would only run fast upon hearing that tune. End of trivia for the day.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: The Invisible Blazoona
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 11:54 PM

It was strongly associated, in the 1910's with May Irwin, who also made "Bully of the Town" popular during that era. She also invented thousand island dressing


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: The Invisible Blazoona
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 12:49 AM

Forgot to mention that the song had apparently been around quite a while when May got a hold of it. She just revived it during her era.


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 03:30 AM

Lottie Collins was (in)famous for having 'iandvertantly' appeared sans knickers on at least one occasion. There was a poular rhyme at the time: 'Lottie Collins lost her drawers. Won't you kindly lend her yours?'

Steve

P.S. Where's Roger the Skiffler? This is his kind of thread - and he probably has some personal memories of LC he can share with us!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:13 AM

Ah, that would explain why my book says 1893 for English publication.... Never knew it was US in origin - hey, you guys gave us something good for a change!! (sorry, sorry, sorry, not really a jingoist, just couldn't resist..... sorry!)

LTS


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 05:48 AM

Cheeky bugger young Steve, you'm more of an expert on Music 'all than me & Oi baint as old as all that!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 07:04 AM

Darn those flying fingers. In case you didn't figure out the important typos. That's HeNRy and it should be brotheL, not brotheR....


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Will Bakker
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 07:58 AM

And this is the Dutch childrens version:
Ta ra ra boemdiee
De dikke dominee
die had zijn gat verbrand
Al aan de kachelrand
Toen moest ie naar de WC
Hij nam zijn pijpje mee
Hij deed een grote druk
Toen viel zijn pijpje stuk!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 03:28 AM

I suppose there's no prize for guessing that's rude?


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:33 PM

Here's another version.
-Joe Offer-
Thread #40139   Message #572535
Posted By: marymarymary
15-Oct-01 - 12:38 PM
Thread Name: BS: What did you sing as a kid?
Subject: RE: BS: What did you sing as a kid?


Tah-rah-rah-boom-si-ay
We have no school today
Our teacher passed away
We shot her yesterday
We threw her in the bay
She scared the sharks away
Tah-rah-rah-boom-si-ay
We have no school today


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: toadfrog
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM

Joe, I was sure you would quote the Little Red Songbook version. I don't recall the verses, but the chorus started:

Boom went the boom one day
I made a noise that way
There went my hard-earned pay
Saved for a rainy day . . .

Very a propos, right now. Do you recall the rest of it?


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Subject: ADD: Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay (Joe Hill)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 02:57 AM

Well, Toadfrog, I found this one at IWW songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent.
-Joe Offer-


TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY
(Joe Hill)

I had a job once threshing wheat, worked sixteen hours with hands and feet.
And when the moon was shining bright, they kept me working all the night.
One moonlight night, I hate to tell, I "accidentally" slipped and fell.
My pitchfork went right in between some cog wheels of that thresh-machine.

CHORUS
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way,
And wheels and bolts and hay,
Went flying every way.
That stingy rube said, "Well!
A thousand gone to hell."
But I did sleep that night,
I needed it all right.

Next day that stingy rube did say, "I'll bring my eggs to town today;
You grease my wagon up, you mutt, and don't forget to screw the nut."
I greased his wagon all right, but I plumb forgot to screw the nut,
And when he started on that trip, the wheel slipped off and broke his hip.

SECOND CHORUS
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way,
That rube was sure a sight,
And mad enough to fight;
His whiskers and his legs
Were full of scrambled eggs:
I told him, "That's too bad-
I'm feeling very sad."

And then that farmer said, "You turk! I bet you are an I-Won't Work."
He paid me off right there, By Gum! So I went home and told my chum.
Next day when threshing did commence, my chum was Johnny on the fence;
And 'pon my word, that awkward kid, he dropped his pitchfork, like I did.

THIRD CHORUS
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way,
And part of that machine
Hit Reuben on the bean.
He cried, "Oh me, oh my;
I nearly lost my eye."
My partner said, "You're right-
It's bedtime now, good night."

But still that rube was pretty wise, these things did open up his eyes.
He said, "There must be something wrong; I think I work my men too long."
He cut the hours and raised the pay, gave ham and eggs for every day,
Now gets his men from union hall, and has no "accidents" at all.

FOURTH CHORUS
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
That rube is feeling gay;
He learned his lesson quick,
Just through a simple trick.
For fixing rotten jobs
And fixing greedy slobs,
This is the only way,
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!


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Subject: ADD Version:TA-RA-RA BOOM-DE-AY
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 03:35 AM

Here's a passage from Flashes of Merriment: A Century of Humorous songs in America, by the one and only Lester S. Levy (1971).
-Joe Offer-

    But the nonsense song which attained more popularity than all others that had been written previously was "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!" In 1891, Henry J. Sayers, a writer with no previous important songs to his credit, turned out one with a nonsense chorus, called "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-Der-E." It failed to stir up much interest, until, like many other popular songs of the period, it was introduced in London, where a leading comedienne, Lottie Collins, built it up into an overwhelming success. From there it came to America, destined to become one of the greatest hits—possibly the very greatest—on the American variety stage. New verses were written for it; a new composer's name appeared on thousands upon thousands of sheet-music copies.
    As might be expected, this led to a copyright suit in the federal courts, where testimony was introduced to prove that the tune originated in a St. Louis "resort" of questionable fame, operated by one Babe Connors and stocked with colored female inmates. According to Edward B. Marks, a famous music publisher for two generations, Connors' place was frequented by traveling minstrels, who were always on the lookout for new material. When asked to describe the place run by Babe Connors, one witness replied, "Let's be polite and call it a cabaret!"
    The "new" "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!" listed as its composer Angelo A. Asher and as its lyricist Richard Morton. Morton wrote six sets of verses for ladies and five for gentlemen. For the ladies he starts out:


    TA-RA-RA BOOM-DE-AY!
    (Original Version Written by Richard Morton)

    A smart and stylish girl you see,
    Belle of good society;
    Not too strict, but rather free,
    Yet as right as right can be!
    Never forward, never bold,
    Not too hot, and not too cold,
    But the very thing, I'm told,
    That in your arms you'd like to hold!

    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay,
    (Repeat seven times—that's all there is to it.)

    I'm not extravagantly shy,
    And when a nice young man is nigh,
    For his heart I have a try—
    And faint away with tearful cry!
    When the good young man in haste,
    Will support me round the waist;
    I don't come to, while thus embraced,
    Till of my lips he steals a taste!
    CHORUS

    I'm a timid flower of innocence—
    Pa says that I have no sense—
    I'm one eternal big expense;
    But men say that I'm just "immense!"
    Ere my verses I conclude,
    I'd like it known and understood,
    Though free as air, I'm never rude,—
    I'm not too bad, and not too good!
    CHORUS

    EXTRA VERSES:

    You should see me out with Pa,
    Prim, and most particular
    The young men say, "Ah, there you are!"
    And Pa says, "That's peculiar!"
    "It's like their check!" I say, and so
    Off again with Pa I go --
    He's quite satisfied - although -
    When his back's turned - well, you know -
    CHORUS

    When with swell I'm out to dine,
    All my hunger I resign -
    Taste the food, and sip the wine -
    No such daintiness as mine!
    But when I am all alone,
    For shortcomings I atone -
    No old frumps to stare like stone -
    Chops and chicken on my own!
    CHORUS

    Sometimes Pa says with a frown,
    "Soon you'll have to settle down -
    Have to wear your wedding gown
    Be the strictest wife in town!"
    Well, it must come by and bye -
    When wed to keep quiet I'll try
    But till then I shall not sigh,
    I shall still go in for my -
    CHORUS



The extra verses were from the sheet music by lyricist Richard Morton, available online at the Levy Sheet Music Site.


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Subject: ADD Version:TA-RA-RA BOOM-DE-AY
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 03:51 AM

The Levy book has only one verse of Morton's "Gentleman's Version" of the song, but there are five barely-legible verses at the Levy Sheet Music Site.
Levy says:
    As for the gentlemen, most of the story concerns a young man who can't pay his bills; but the last verse becomes personal in the extreme:

TA-RA-RA BOOM-DE-AY!
(Gentleman's Version Written by Richard Morton)
    I'm a swell young gentleman
    Living on the modern plan
    When style's about, I'm in the van
    I pay as few debts as I can
    If, when I walk down the street
    My good tailor I should meet
    His complaints I always greet
    By singing to him, soft and sweet:
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

    Once a money-lending Jew
    Said that for his debt he'd sure
    "Right," said I, "Good luck to you,
    You won't get much, by all that's blue!
    To the court he sped along,
    Breathing vengeance, hot and throng,
    Through his whiskers, grey and long
    The wind was whistling my old song:
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

    To the court he took me straight
    Proceeded there his claim to state
    The judge then asked me, quite sedate
    To wipe my score clean off the slate!
    I replied, "Truth is, old bloke,
    I can't pay, for I'm dead broke."
    The judge gave that Jew's ribs a poke-
    In accents soft he slyly spoke:
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

    All the court broke in a roar!
    Such sights were never seen before.
    The laywers shouted out, "Encore!"
    And banged their feet upon the floor.
    The tune caught on - of that, no doubt!
    They pitched the poor old Sheeny out!
    The judge and jury jigged about,
    And every one went on to shout:
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

    EXTRA VERSE
    Once I met a lady fair,
    All in tears, with straggling hair,
    She saw me, began to blare,—
    I could only stand and stare!
    A bundle in her arms was borne,
    She held it out to me in scorn,—
    Cried that female all forlorn:
    "Take it, wretch, this parcel's your'n!"
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

Can't say I'd want to sing this version.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-E
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 04:12 AM

And one last version, this one published in 1891. Source: Fireside Book of American Songs.
-Joe Offer-


    TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DER-E
    (words and music by Henry J. Sayers)

    A sweet tuxedo girl you see,
    Queen of swell society,
    Fond of fun as fond can be,
    When it's on the stict Q.T.
    I'm not too young, I'm not too old,
    Not too timid, not too bold,
    Just the kind you'd like to hold,
    Just the kind for sport, I'm told.
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-der-e, etc.

    I'm a blushing bud of innocence,
    Papa says at big expense,
    Old maids say I have no sense,
    Boys declare I'm just immense.
    Before my song I do conclude,
    I want it strictly understood,
    Thgo' fond of fun, I'm never rude,
    tho' not too bad, I'm not too good.
    CHORUS: Ta-ra-ra Boom-der-e, etc.


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:31 AM

There was a US Air Force song from the Korean War - about early model F-86 (Sabre?) jet fighters, which apparently had at the time a reputation for overheating and blowing themselves to bits???

Chorus went:

Will you go boom today?
Two blew up yesterday,
It might be you today.

The only verse line I remember was at the start:

If you fly an eighty-six..........

Only ever heard it once, in about 1964.


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:12 AM

I've been musing over one of the typos in the above posts:

"Babe Bonner's famous St. Louis brother, sung by the fabulous nego singer Mama Lou."

Which should, of course, read:

Babe Bonner's famous St. Louis BROTHEL, sung by the fabulous negro singer Mama Lou.

Just another example of White folks expropriating popular music of Black Americans, retaining the tunes, titles and refrains but "cleaning them up" the lyrics for the public's benefit. I've been re-reading THE MUSIC OF BLACK AMERICANS by Eileen Southern.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM

I THINK the melody comes from one of the fameous Italian operas where it's used as the theme of impending doom. Seriously, folks. Rigoletto, or something like that, The words are about how a woman is nothing but a feather in the breeze.I REMEMBER!!! IT'S 'LA DONNA E MOBILE'!!!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 05:10 AM

La Donna e mobile!

Translation: My wife has a cellular telephone!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 05:50 AM

Crowns are no longer de rigeur. Coronets, although acceptable are a little pricey for most tastes. That is why we are seeing a Tiara boom today

Nigel


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Subject: ADD: Boom Went the Boom (W.O. Blee)
From: toadfrog
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 09:25 PM

Joe, I found it! The little red songbook (29th Edition, 1956), (priced at 25 cents) was hiding on the shelf, down between authors beginning with "W"! The note on the back says, "The following revolutionary songs in sheet music form can be purchased in single copies for 25 cents and in lots of ten or more at the rate of 15 cents a copy.........." How's that for nostalgia? I bet the 1930 edition went for a nickle!

Note the colorful old-timey slang in this song. Does anybody know what that phrase "he tore his pants with me" meant? Anybody know what Revolution the song refers to at the end? It can't be just the New Deal!   

BOOM WENT THE BOOM
By "W.O. Blee" (Anon.)

I had a job in twenty-nine
When everything was going fine.
I knew the pace was pretty fast,
But thought that it would always last.
When organizers came to town
I'd always sneer and turn them down.
I thought the boss was my best friend
And he'd stick by me to the end.

Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay!
Ain't got a word to say.
He chiseled down my pay,
Then took my job away!
Boom went the boom one day,
It made a noise that way
I wish I had been wise,
Next time I'll organize.


I had a little bank account,
Not very much, a small amount,
Which to the savings bank I took
And all they gave me was a book.
I pinched on food, I scraped on rent,
Hardly ever spent a cent.
My little savings grew and grew,
I thought I'd be a big shot, too.

Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay!
It made a noise that way,
There went my hard-earned pay,
Saved for a rainy day.
I must have been a wick,
This soup-line makes me sick.
Where can that banker be?
He tore his pants with me.


Then finally it came to pass
All I had to eat was grass.
The wolf don't bother any more–
He starved to death right by my door.
With soup and gas and club and gun
They tried to make the system run.
They said, "Dear friends, now don't get sore,
We'll make it like it was before."

Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay!
It busted up one day,
Those guys that stole my pay
Went flying every way.
All that I've got to say,
I hope they've gone to stay;
Each dog must have his day –
Ta-ra-ra BOOM- dee-ay!


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 10:41 PM

Hrothgar-
Try looking for it in DigiTrad


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: open mike
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 03:05 AM

that song was used in a hot cereal commercial
(perhaps in the 60's?)
it went tra la la boom de ay
have you had Zoom today?.....


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: chico
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 05:25 AM


   C                  
I had a job in twenty-nine when everything was going fine.
                      G7                                  C
I knew the pace was pretty fast, but thought that it would always last.
When organizers came to town I'd always sneer and turn them down.
                      G7                                  C
I thought the boss was my best friend and he'd stick by me to the end.

C C° G7 C          D#°          C
Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay! Ain't got a word to say.
7            G7                      C
He chiseled down my pay, then took my job away!
Boom went the boom one day, it made a noise that way
I wish I had been wise, next time I'll organize.

I had a little bank account, not very much, a small amount,
Which to the savings bank I took and all they gave me was a book.
I pinched on food, I scraped on rent, hardly ever spent a cent.
My little savings grew and grew, I thought I'd be a big shot, too.

Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay! It made a noise that way,
There went my hard-earned pay, saved for a rainy day.
I must have been a wick, this soup-line makes me sick.
Where can that banker be? He tore his pants with me.

Then finally it came to pass all I had to eat was grass.
The wolf don't bother any more-he starved to death right by my door.
With soup and gas and club and gun they tried to make the system run.
They said, "Dear friends, now don't get sore, we'll make it like it was before."

Ta-ra-ra BOOM de ay! It busted up one day,
Those guys that stole my pay went flying every way.
All that I've got to say, I hope they've gone to stay;
Each dog must have his day - Ta-ra-ra BOOM- dee-ay!

[By "W.O. Blee" (Anon.)]


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: Vixen
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 07:49 AM

What about the version my grandma taught me:

A silly song I heard today
The melody was bright and gay
Clever little catchy tune
I could sing it night or nooooooooooooon

Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-ay etc.

Repeat until parents stop car and leave you on median strip...


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Subject: RE: Query: When was Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-Ay?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 12:11 PM

The reference above to La Don e Mobile or whatever it is reminde me that we used to sing to that tune when I was a bout 10:

Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay
Mae West had twins today
They sucked her tits away
Ta Ra Ra boom d Ay

This however is not the tune which the real Lottie Collins song uses.

To the correct tune we would sing:

I got a gal called sassafras
She's got pimples on her ass
Some are bif and some are small
Some you can hardly see at all

An obvious american import.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM

I'm going to attempt to re-correct Lesley N.'s quote from THE FIRESIDE BOOK OF FAVORITE AMERICAN SONGS, © 1952, p. 23. Lesley did correct "brothel" for "brother" but there were still outstanding typos. Here's what Lesley quoted originally (typos in bold):

"Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-Der-E was published in 1891. Herny Sayers, the composer, frankly says that the tune originated in Babe Bonner's famous St. Louis brother, sung by the fabulous nego singer Mama Lou. Sayers' song was a complete failure: America would have nothign to do with it. A year later, Lottie Collins, well-known music-hall singer of the day, sang it in London. Overnight it became a sensation. The music-hall crowds delighted in its rollicking rhythm and its nonsensical lines. Brought back to America by Lottie Collins in 1894 it was greeted with t he sam wild enthusiasm that the English had accorded it, and has remained on of America's most popular songs."

Here is the hopefully correct version:

"Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-Der-E was published in 1891. Henry Sayers, the composer, frankly says that the tune originated in Babe Conner's famous St. Louis brothel, sung by the fabulous Negro singer Mama Lou. Sayers' song was a complete failure: America would have nothing to do with it. A year later, Lottie Collins, well-known music-hall singer of the day, sang it in London. Overnight it became a sensation. The music-hall crowds delighted in its rollicking rhythm and its nonsensical lines. Brought back to America by Lottie Collins in 1894 it was greeted with the same wild enthusiasm that the English had accorded it, and has remained one of America's most popular songs."

Evidently the typos in this post have raised almost as many questions as the question that Lesley was attempting to address, the origin of the song.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:09 PM

I distinctly remember when I was v small, mid-1930s, in London, my mother liked to sing, to the Verdi Donn'e'Mobile tune: 'Ta-ra-ra-boomdee-ay, This is my wedding day'. That seemed to be all she knew of it. But surely connected somewhere. Does this variant ring any bell with anybody else?

BTW the Lottie Collins tune seems to be down on DT — a pop·up appears saying the URL is inaccessible or some such. Can anything be done to rectify this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM

And could not the version cited by Joe above, which he says he would not care to perform, be tied in with the ongoing - Antisemitism: A Mon Like Thee - thread?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:42 PM

I found this thread earlier today and I reposted the un-corrected version of Leslie N's post on this thread. That thread provides examples of & commentary about the children's rhyme/song "We are the ___/we wear our hair in curls."

I also quoted from Charley Noble's previous post about that song which is found on this thread.

I have subsequently posted a link in that children's rhyme thread to Charley's corrections of Leslie N's post. I also have posted a comment that emphasizes the 1952 date of the first publication of that Fireside book. I had incorrectly given that date as 1975 which is the date of a later edition of that book. That date matters because of other comments I made in that post...

Also, for what it's worth, not all of the examples of that children's rhyme are bawdy. All of the examples that I've heard or read thus far of that children's rhyme/song use the "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" tune (though the one example to date that I found on YouTube has a faster tempo than the one I think is commonly used for that song).

At any rate, I want to publicly 'say', thanks Charley!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM

Azizi-

Any time!

So far I haven't detected any typos in my corrections above, but I never find my own mistakes!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Q
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:13 PM

The origins of this song are not clear. The following is mostly from James J. Fuld, "The Book of World-Famous Music," pp. 570-571.

"Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-der-E" by Henry J. Sayers, September, 1891, on the front cover refers to the minstrel farce comedy, "Tuxedo." Sayers, who was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1854, managed minstrel shows and also was an Army bandmaster, he died in NYC in 1932.

Sayers wrote the song after visiting Babe Connors' "notorious cabaret" in St. Louis, but it did not become popular until Lottie Collins had introduced it in England (sheet music 1892).

In a court case, Judge Patterson held that the music and words of the chorus were not original but the first two verses were (Sayers vs. Sigmund Spaeth, 1932). The earlier appearances of the music do not appear in the decision, but several possible sources are indicated in the files: "Deutschlands Liederschatz," with a song "Storchlied," contains a composition entitled "Tarara Bumtara," without music, pub. 1809, but with music for "Ta rada Boom di E."
Unfortunately, these earlier sources have not been found. End quoted entry.

St. Louis had a large German colony, and the earlier pieces from Germany could have been known rather widely. It is not known for certain if performers at Babe Connors used the song before Sayers wrote his copyright version, but if the melody had been brought to St. Louis, performers like 'Mama Lou' could have revised it to their needs.

In 1891, almost immediately following Sayers publication, several folios of sheet music were published; "Boom-Ta-Ra!," 1891, Alexander Spencer; "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay!," 1891, A. A. Asher and Morton; 1892, Thornton and Loraine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:29 PM

Q-

"Sigmund Spaeth" editor of the Read 'Em & Weep series. He generally knew what he was writing about.

1809!

Where's our time machine?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:41 AM

I am still trying to recall the real tune and constantly getting La Donn'e Mobile in my head instead; and the DT "Click For Tune' is still not working. Any chance of its being fixed. please?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: Q
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 11:20 AM

MtheGM, there are several on youtube, mostly accordion, mostly bad. This one is fair:

Accordion, lyrics with bouncing ball- www.youtube.com/watch?v=netG3_gdAuY

I couldn't find a singing, cabaret version.
Some performers use Sayers title.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: GUEST,Big T
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:00 AM

What about the version I learned in elementary school music class:

A silly song I heard today
The melody was bright and gay
Clever little catchy tune
I could sing it night or nooooooooooooon

Tah Rah Rah Boom-di-ay etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 01:17 PM

When I was a little girl in Jamaica my siblings and I waited all week to see this movie in which this song was played during a ball, there were a big fat negro maid and a very stiff butler who had a repartee going on along the side during the ball when she said "breakdown brother, break down". we were laughing so hard that our mom told us to turn off the tv. I have been looking for this movie since. I cannot seem to recall the title and I think John Payne starred in it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: GUEST,haakon
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 11:51 AM

La donna č mobile is the big hit song from Rigoletto, which was premiered in 1851. I can think of the following indications that Ta-ra-ra-boom-der-e might have been influenced by La donna č mobile:

* Rigoletto's (and especially this song's) great popularity over the preceding 40 years
* The similarity of the themes/hooks of the music
* The similarity of the sound of the lyrics
* Some (maybe slight) similarity of the subject

That said, influence is not the same as identity, and short of someone finding a contemporary account, it would probably be impossible to prove.

Here is a literal translation of the words to La donna č mobile, from Wikipedia:

Woman is flighty.
Like a feather in the wind,
she changes in voice
and in thought.

Always a lovely,
pretty face,
in tears or in laughter,
it's untrue.

Refrain
Woman is flighty.
like a feather in the wind,
she changes in voice
and in thought!

Always miserable
is he who trusts her,
he who confides in her
his unwary heart!

Yet one never feels
fully happy
who from that bosom
does not drink love!

Refrain
Woman is flighty.
Like a feather in the wind,
she changes her words,
and her thoughts!

Another somewhat intriguing thought -- the Wikipedia article mentions that La donna č mobile has been used for lots of football chants. I don't know if any of these date back to the 19th century, but maybe there are other references to parodies of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 12:16 PM

Indeed ~~ the most common at present is the repeated name of the Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to the LDEM tune.

I heard a story once [hope this hasn't already appeared above ~~ if so, apologies] that when Rigoletto was first in rehearsal, Verdi called a meeting of the entire opera house staff from director to cleaners & scene shifters, and begged them all to be careful not to whistle La Donn' e Mobile as they went about the streets, or it would be sure to catch on & he would be accused of plagiarism when the first night eventually came.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 11:34 AM

Here's what we sang as kids:

Tra la la boom de ay!
There was no school today
The teacher ran away
And died of tooth decay
We threw her in the bay
The sharks had lunch today
And when they pulled her out
Eeeeuuwww! She smelled like sauerkraut!! (this line exclaimed, not sung)


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