The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15580   Message #2259138
Posted By: Jim Dixon
11-Feb-08 - 12:34 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Crazy Words, Crazy Tune (Yellen, Ager)
Subject: Lyr Add: CRAZY WORDS - CRAZY TUNE (Yellen, Ager)
WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE, recorded by Jim Kweskin, is a version of a song originally called CRAZY WORDS - CRAZY TUNE.

I found the following lyrics at a Frank Zappa fan site, apparently because Frank Zappa quoted this song in one of his own recordings. Judging from the length, I'd guess these are the "official" lyrics from the sheet music. They don't mention George Washington, but see the quotes from the recordings farther down.

Words, Jack Yellen. Music, Milton Ager.
New York: Ager, Yellen & Bornstein, Inc., 1927.

There's a guy I'd like to kill,
If he doesn't stop I will.
He's got a ukulele, and a voice that's loud and shrill.
'Cause he lives next door to me
And he keeps me up till three,
With his ukulele and a funny melody.

1. Crazy words, crazy tune,
All that you'll ever hear him croon.
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do, vo-do-do.
Sits around, all night long,
Sings the same words to every song:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.
His ukulele, daily, how he'll strum! Bum-bum-bum!
Vampin' and stampin'. Then he hollers, "Black bottom!"
Crazy words, crazy tune,
He'll be driving me crazy soon.
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.

2. I have begged that guy to stop,
I have even called a cop,
Told my dog "Go sic him," but the durn dog wouldn't go.
But tonight will be the end,
Yes siree, 'cause I intend
To go up and kick him in the vo-do-do-de-o-do.
He's got to stop it, stop it. Yes he must, or I'll just
Kill him, I'll kill him. Then I'll do the black bottom.
When I'm jailed, upon my need,
To the jury and the judge I'll plead:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.

3. Now the minuet, quiet bliss,
Calm and peaceful, it went like this:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.
The polka too was a treat,
Your partner said if you tread on his feet:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.
The gliding foxtrot we've got and the blues, if you choose.
We've got the Charleston and we'll soon have Black Bottom.
Our vicar said, "Ah, me,
Friends, our hymn for tonight will be
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do."

4. It's a rage, it's a craze,
Everybody sings now-a-days:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do, vo-do-do.
Every goof, every sheik,
Tunes his uke and begins to shriek:
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.
Go on the east side, the west side, here or there, everywhere,
They vo-do, vo-do-do. Then they holler, "Black bottom!".
Young or old, old or young,
The guy that started it should be hung.
Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do.

* * * *

Here's another verse from the recording by Irving Aaronson and His Commanders, 2/4/1927, which you can hear at The Red Hot Jazz Archive:

Napoleon marched his men
To Waterloo. What did he say to them?
"Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do." (Oh, is that so?)
Washington at Valley Forge
Was bitter cold, and up spoke George:
"Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do." (No! You don't say!)
And Simon Legree, in Uncle Tom's Cabin, what did he say to Uncle Tom?
I'll tell you what he said. He took his whip and said to Uncle Tom: "Come on! Charleston!"
And in the Senate the other day,
What did our President Coolidge say?
"Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do."

* * * * *

A similar, but truncated verse was sung by the California Ramblers, also recorded in 1927, also playable at The Red Hot Jazz Archive:

Napoleon marched his men.
He turned around and he said to them:
"Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do. Vo-do-do."
Washington at Valley Forge,
It was bitter cold, but up spoke George:
"Vo-do-de-o, vo-do-do-de-o-do."
Remember Patrick Henry in that speech, that famous speech,
Cried, "Give me--give me--liberty or Black Bottom!"