Music notes

Oh, what the heck, let’s talk about music, somewhat old music, the music of the early ’60s, much of which was God awful, but some of which was OK, and some of which was fraught with weird claims, to wit:

 Who, really, names their daughter Ramaramaramaramalama? Because in 1957, the Edsels sung this:

“I’ve got a girl named Ramaramaramaramalama Dingdong.”

So obviously the Dingdong family thought that Ramaramaramaramalama was just a fine name.

NURSE: Mrs. Dingdong, it’s a girl.

MRS. DINGDONG: Oh, I’m so happy.

NURSE: Have you picked a name?

MRS. DING DONG: Yes. We’re going to call her Ramaramaramaramalama.

NURSE: Oh, what a lucky girl. (To other nurse): Good God.

But the lead singer for the Edsels didn’t seem to mind because he followed up the opening line with:

“She’s everything to me, Ramaramaramaramalama Dingdong.”

Of course, as was the wont of the times, he segued right into misogyny:

“I’ll never set her free, ’cause she’s mine, all mine.”

And his back-up singers sang:

“Whaaaa hoooo,” then go check the lock on the basement door. It’s like something out of “The Collector.” Terence Stamp? Samantha Eggar? Novel by John Fowles? No? Really? Freaky movie. Freaky.

Yeah, Whaaaa hoooo to you, too, guys.

Really, though, who names their kid … Ah, never mind.

 AND THE Duke of Earl? Man, it is PAST time to out that fraud. He was not a duke and there is no dukedom called Earl. The alleged Duke of Earl was a running a game and I am convinced that he used the title to scam girls.

“C’mon, let me hold you, darling, ’cause I’m the Duke of Earl.”

BACK UP GROUP: So yay, yay, yay, yah.

Think about it. This guy starts coming on to girls in maybe the local soda shop, when there were such things (man, it was the early ’60s, so, yeah, soda shop), and keeps getting shot down because he’s basically a schmuck so he goes out and buys a cape and a top hat and comes back the next day and hits ’em with the Duke of Earl schtick.

AND IT WORKS. Oh, yeah, somebody falls for it because he promises:

“And when I hold you, you’ll be my duchess, Duchess of Earl. We’ll walk through my dukedom, and a paradise we will share.”

GIRL: Oh, my God, I’m gonna be a duchess. Did you hear that, you nasty girls on the chess team? Take that. I’m gonna be a duchess.

Oh, yeah? So, just where is this dukedom? In the back seat behind the hardware store? At the drive-in? At the Duke’s house when mom and dad aren’t home?

And then, of course, the Duke jumps more directly into misogeny:

“Yes, I’m gonna love you. Oh, oh, nothing can stop me now, ’cause I’m the Duke of Earl.”

Get it? He’s gonna love that girl because NOTHING CAN STOP THE DUKE OF EARL. The Duke gets what the Duke wants. NOTHING can stop him.

Where’s the queen’s headsman when you really need him? And if you see Donald Trump in a cape and top hat, you’ll dig that he’s found an oldies station.

 AND THEN there’s Gene Vincent. Or, if you prefer, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. They’re all culpable for:

“Be bop a lula, she’s my baby. Be bop a lula, I don’t mean maybe.”

At least with Ramalamalamalamalama Dingdong, it was clearly her name. But here? Is Gene just mumbling something and THEN saying somebody, name unknown, is his BABY? Or is her name actually Bebopalula? And at least Ramalamalamalamalama (I almost forgot one of the lamas) had a last name — Dingdong.

But Gene does the Edsels one better with:

“She’s the girl in the red blue jeans, she’s the QUEEN OF ALL THE TEENS.”

OK, first of all: Red blue jeans? Are they red or blue, schmuck? And she’s queen of ALL the teens? I think maybe Ramalamalamalamalama might have something to say about that.

But then he makes sure that, queen of all the teens or not, he’s her man because:

“She’s the woman that loves me so.”

OK, Gene, teen or woman?

SO, TO SORT OF quote Dylan, “I guess you’re wonderin’ what this song is all about.”

Well, he said, “It’s nothin’. It’s just somethin’ I learned over in England.”

That’s not quite the case here because I’ve never been to England and I didn’t learn all that much in Ireland except not to be a touristy lunk and order Guinness when Smithwick’s is SO much better on draft over there.

No, this is just about old music and my thought that maybe some of you could compare it to what, contemporarily, passes for music and see which is more misogynistic but I think I know.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program …

What? Canceled? Casting Roseanne Barr as a nun was a mistake? Yeah? Sally Field, sure, although the flying schtick was a bit much (“The Flying Nun”? Remember? No? Just as well.)

Once upon a time there really were radio stations that play legitimate oldies, not stuff from the ’70s, which was all bloody awful, but stuff from the ’50s. Not anymore, not around here, anyway, and not in New York that I can find. I did, however, find one in Ireland and it plays great stuff — just music, no DJ, no commercials, just music.

I have yet to hear, however, “Ramalama Ding Dong,” but I keep hoping.

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