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Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI

DigiTrad:
ENDLESS HOLE
HELLO IN THERE
LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN
PARADISE or Muhlenberg County
PLEASE DON'T BURY ME
YOUR FLAG DECAL WON'T GET YOU INTO HEAVEN ANYMORE


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Peter T. 03 Sep 97 - 10:40 AM
Shula 03 Sep 97 - 09:12 PM
Shula 03 Sep 97 - 09:54 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Sep 97 - 10:58 PM
Bill D 03 Sep 97 - 11:11 PM
Frank Phillips 04 Sep 97 - 12:01 AM
Mountain Dog 04 Sep 97 - 10:34 AM
Peter T. 04 Sep 97 - 10:38 AM
dick greenhaus 04 Sep 97 - 11:01 AM
Shula 04 Sep 97 - 11:39 PM
Barry 05 Sep 97 - 12:19 AM
Shula 05 Sep 97 - 12:37 AM
Peter T. 05 Sep 97 - 11:00 AM
Shula 05 Sep 97 - 07:32 PM
Genie 30 Aug 09 - 08:16 PM
Peace 30 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 09:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM
Peace 30 Aug 09 - 09:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 09:45 PM
Genie 31 Aug 09 - 04:57 PM
Genie 31 Aug 09 - 05:07 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Sep 09 - 02:32 PM
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Subject: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:40 AM

Dear Shula, you can't just blithely say you have a song about a Hawaiian fish that starts, "Huma-Huma-nuca-nuca", and hope to get away with it. There is more?

Yours, Peter


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY LITTLE GRASS SHACK IN KEALAKEKUA, HI
From: Shula
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 09:12 PM

Dear Peter T.,

You'll hate yourself in th' mornin'!

Before we revisit this not-really-folk chestnut and staple of ukelele players from Arthur Godfrey to Tiny Tim, let me remind all that this was one suggestion among many, in a response about songs to sing with children, who seem to enjoy the struggle to pronounce the Hawaiian words.

My apologies, in advance, to the lovers of true Hawaiian mele, examples of which can be found in the links at these sites (and several others):

Jay D. Hayashi's Home page
http:/www.seas.ucla.edu/~jayh/hmusic.html
and
Stevo's Hawaiian Music Page Links
http:/members.aol.com/StevenA442/hawaimus/mus/links.htm

Without further fuss:

MY LITTLE GRASS SHACK IN KE-A-LA-KE-KUA, HAWAII
Words and music by Bill Cogswell, Tommy Harrison and Johnny Noble

I want to go back to my little grass shack in Ke-a-la-ke-kua, Hawaii.
I want to be with all the ka-nes and wa-hi-nes that I knew long ago.
I can hear old guitars a-playing, on the beach at Ho-o-nau-nau
I can hear the Hawaiians saying, "Ko-mo-mai no-ka-u-a i-ka ha-le we-la-ka-hao."

It won't be long 'til my ship will be sailing back to Kona –
A grand old place that's always fair to see.
I'm just a little Hawaiian and a homesick island boy,
I want to go back to my fish and poi,

I want to go back to my little grass shack in Ke-a-la-ke-kua, Hawaii.
Where the hu-mu-hu-mu-nu-ku-nu-ku-a-pu-a'a goes swimming by.
Where the hu-mu-hu-mu-nu-ku-nu-ku-a-pu-a'a goes swimming by.

Sorry about that.

Shula

P.S. Agree absolutely about Disney films to which you alluded in the "mother" thread. Do like some things, and some songs from the old stuff, though.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 21-May-02.


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Shula
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 09:54 PM

P.P.S. If you would like to see an example of the humuhumunukunukuapua'a (the state fish of Hawaii), And hear the word pronounced, go to Shirley Pratt's Home Page:
http:/www.cs.nps,navy.mil/people/support/pratts/pratts.html

The Traditional Hawaiian Myth about this little fish's origins can be found at:
MAUI CHEETAH "Maui Myths/Folklore Page"
http://www.mauigateway.com/~rw/myths1.htm

Aloha,

Shula


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:58 PM

Does anybody know John Prine's "Talk to me Dirty in Hawaiian"? Funny song.


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 11:11 PM

no, but I know the Spike Jones version of the "Hawaiian Love Call"...(I think that is what it was!)

"As the sun pulls away from the shore, and our boat sinks slowly in the west,....etc..."

complete with the syllables like a bull-frog gargling....


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Frank Phillips
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 12:01 AM

Didn't John co-write "Let's talk dirty in Hawaiian" with Fred Koller.

Frank


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Subject: Lyr Add: LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN (John Prine)
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 10:34 AM

Dear Dick,

Here's John Prine's "Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian", taken from the OLGA trove. (And, yes, Frank, Fred Koller was the co-author). Enjoy, all!

LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN
John Prine/Fred Koller

Verse 1:
[D] I packed my bags and bought myself a ticket
For the land of the tall palm [A] tree
Aloha Old Milwaukee, Hello Waiki- [D] ki
I just stepped down from the airplane
When I thought I heard her [G] say
Waka waka nuka nuka, [D] waka waka nuka nuka
[A] Would you like a [D] lei? [A] Eh?

CHORUS: [D] Let's talk dirty in Hawaiian
Whisper in my [A] ear
Kicka poo ka maka wa wah wahini
Are the words I long to [D] hear
Lay your coconut on my tiki
What the hecka mooka mooka [G] dear
Let's talk dirty in Ha- [D] waiian
Say the [A] words I long to [D] hear

Verse 2:
[D] It's a ukulele Honolulu sunset
Listen to the grass skirts [A] sway
Drinking rum from a pineapple
Out on Honolulu [D] Bay
The steel guitars all playing
While she's talking with her [G] hands
Gimme gimme oka doka [D] make a wish and wanta polka
[A] Words I under- [D] stand [A]

CHORUS

Verse 3:
[D] I boughta lota junka with my moola
And sent it to the folks back [A] home
I never had the chance to dance the hula
I guess I should have [D] known
When you start talking to the sweet wahini
Walking in the pale moon [G] light
Oka doka what a setta [D] knocka rocka sis boom bocas
[A] Hope I said it [D] right [A]

CHORUS

[Spoken:] Aloha


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 10:38 AM

Dear Shula, As Rudolph Nureyev once said, after the age of thirty, you don't get up in the morning without hating some muscle or bone in your body. Deeply hilarious -- I knew the grass shack song, vaguely, but didn't know its ichthyological implications. But what's a DT for if not this kind of earth-shattering revelation. Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 11:01 AM

Hi Dog-- many thanx.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAWAI'IAN SUPA-MAN and ISLAND STYLE
From: Shula
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 11:39 PM

Considering the sniggering P.I. humour of the foregoing, and though I confess to a closet giggle or two myself, wonder if we oughtn't return this thread to a somewhat more elevated, or at least, innocent, plane. (The "mum" thread, after all, is about Songs for small fry!) Also, shouldn't like to think that we left a discussion of Hawai'ian music with no better examples, though I am definitely NOT offering to be The Mele Maven, here -- no qualifications.

Knew nothing of the genre until the search to verify the Little Grass Shack lyrics led me into the previously unfamiliar waters of island music. Astounded to discover that my concept of this form, i.e. Don Ho's (deservedly) much-parodied rendition of "Tiny Bubbles in the Wine," was essentially L.C.D. tourist trash, and there is a rich Hawai'ian and multi-cultural musical heritage alive and well in The mid-Pacific! (And for those who require reassurance that Celtic Music Lovers are, indeed, EVERYWHERE, check out : String Fever: Oldtime Foot-stompin' Music from Upcountry Maui at http://www.maui.com/~sbdc/SFever.html.) For some good places to start looking for Hawai'ian Music, go to: Stevo's Hawai'ian Music Guide Links at: http://members.aol.com/StevenA442/hawaimus/muslinks.htm.

The quality and "authenticity" of the songs produced, like those of any "folk" tradition vary widely, and the form continues to evolve, veering happily, at the moment, toward its pre-European Hawai'ian roots. Heard one lovely, haunting clip, albeit a painfully short one, of a song by the recently deceased Israel Kamakawiwo'ole; only wish I had bookmarked it. From my limited exploration, it seems that there is a rough equivalence in these songs, between their æsthetic value and the percentage of the lyrics written in Hawai'ian. Put the other way round: the more English, the more humourous and/or lightweight the material. However if you'd fancy a chuckle, try reading this "fractured fairy tale" aloud:

http://www.hisurf.com/FairyTales/Bedtime.html
Pupule-Locks And The Three Mongeese
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Once upon one time, lived three mongooses. Da Pops, Da Mama, and Da Junior Boy. One day Da Mama made some really onolicious pochogeese bean soup for eat but the stuff was smokin' hot. So before anybody had to call 911 to report multiple seco nd degree burns, Da Papa said "Eh, We go out cruising for little while." So Da Papa, Da Mama, and Junior Boy piled into their '68 Rambler and peeled out of the driveway...(The rest is at the site cited. Glossary available on request.)

On the other hand, just as it seemed there might actually be a language other than English, acceptable to The Database, (due to an apparent lack of diacriticals), it turns out that one has to download Hawai'ian fonts to appreciate the song lyrics in all their pristine glory! Merde! Therefore, unless some generous soul, knowledgeable in Hawai'ian, comes forward, I can only post a couple of kiddie songs here, and recommend that if any of this even vaguely intrigues you, -- surf on over to the starter sites mentioned above and go chase down some audio clips of mele and slack-key. Some of this stuff is melodically exquisite!!

Off the box, then. Here are the songs mentioned:

HAWAI'IAN SUPA-MAN
(submitted by Jonathan Wong)
Composed by Del Beasley, recorded by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on his Facing Future CD

Am
Oh, tall is the tale of the mischievous one
G F E7 Am
Who fished out all the island and captured the sun
Am
His deeds and tasks I will unmask so that you'll understand
G F E7 Am
That before there was a Clark Kent there was a Hawai'ian Super Man

C G F
He fished out the islands with a magic hook
C G Am
There would have been more, somebody looked
C G F
He pulled morning sky, the sun he entwined
C G Am E7
Slowed down his flight so kapa could dry, yeah

Chorus:
Am
Mischievous, marvelous, magical Maui: Hero of this Land
G F E7 Am
The one the only, the ultimate Hawai'ian Super Man
Am G F E7
Maui, Maui, oh Maui, the Hawai'ian Supa Man
Am G F E7
Maui, Maui, oh Maui, the Hawai'ian Supa Man

Am
Secret of fire was locked somewhere in time
G F E7 Am
So when the ahi died in the hale kuke, no way to be ignite
Am
So off he goes in search of those who hold the information
G F E7 Am
So fire could be used by all the future generations

C G F
He found that alae held the fire connection
C G Am
But his plan of deception fell short from perfection
C G F
Without a choice he had to get mean
C G Am E7
So he squeezed alae's throat until she screamed the secret

Chorus

ISLAND STYLE
Composer: John Cruz
Performed by: John Cruz

C G7 C

Chorus:
F C
On the island, we do it island style

from the mountain to the ocean
G7 C C7
from the windward to the leeward side
(Repeat)

C F C
Mama's in the kitchen cooking dinner real nice
G7 C
Beef stew on the stove, lomi salmon with the ice
F C
We eat and drink and we sing all day
G7 C
Kanikapila in the old Hawai`ian way

Chorus:

C F C
We go grandma`s house on the weekend clean yard `cause
G7 C
If we no go grandma gotta work hard
F C
You know my grandma she like the poi real sour
G7 C
I love my grandma every minute every hour

Chorus:

Instrumental:

Repeat 1st verse:

Chorus: (2X`s)

Bon voyage,

Shula

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 21-May-02.


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Barry
Date: 05 Sep 97 - 12:19 AM

Shula These would be called hapa holie (sp?) or half white, not the real traditional songs & Don Ho, doesn't rate a nod from the locals. The traditional songs are not sung for the public (at least not when I lived there) nor was the traditional dance. I don't know the names of the songs that I heard (my arm for a tape recorder) or what they were about only that I only got to hear them when I practiced by myself on the green & local musicians would stop & swap. To me it was akin to a south sea Eyna (instead of Galic in Hawaiian). 17 years has erased the words & tunes from my memory but not rememberance of the erie, haunting & delightful rush when I heard these songs for the 1st time. A kid about 18 asked if he could try my guitar & proceeded to change the tuned strings slacking them off (my 1st with slack key) he then sang what he said was a song of mourning (he sang it at his grandmother's funeral) along came 2 very large & mean looking somoaians & I figured I was going to be fish bait for being a holie, messing with their culture. They started swaying back & forth 7 moaning, like a hula, only very slow & talking with their hands as if trying to make shadow figures against a wallas they danced they danced, all the while in a public park without the slightest hint of embarrasement, almost trance like, I've never witnessed anything of the sort since. Barry Finn


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Shula
Date: 05 Sep 97 - 12:37 AM

Would give an eyetooth to have been there! Hope I explained adequately that my selections were not the most authentic, due to my own linguistic limitations.

Cannot begin to describe the revelation I felt upon first hearing a few examples of what is surely CLOSER to the real thing. May have to take up Hawaiian, just to understand the music. Found a few things with translations or footnotes, and it is perfectly plain that this music is a far cry from the lounge lizard variety.

There seems to be a revitalised movement affoot in the Islands to preserve the ancient language and heritage, including the music. YOU MUST GO to the sites I mentioned, which will lead to many others. When you come back, would love to hear your reactions to any of the clips you hear! Is this the sort of thing you remember? ( Will try to find that "Bruddah Iz" clip again.)

Mehalo!!!

Shula (Maluhia -- "peace," in Hawaiian.)


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Sep 97 - 11:00 AM

Shula, serious question, since you have become interested. Is Hawaiian music part of a whole SouthSeas repertoire of music -- Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, etc. -- or very specific? I mean by that is there a common tuning or pattern of songs or influences that was there before Captain Cook arrived (obviously with some changes for each culture)? How far did it go (if there): Japan, Phillippines, Australia...? I also assume that the guitar must be a late addition to the instrumental repertoire. I ask this out of sheer ignorance.

Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Shula, about that Hawaiian fish...
From: Shula
Date: 05 Sep 97 - 07:32 PM

Not a clue. Will try to do a little research.

Shula


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua,
From: Genie
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 08:16 PM

Barry, that sounds like an amazing experience you had with the traditional Hawai'ian music.


I know that most of the "Hawai'ian" songs I sing are hapa haole, but I've read that some of them (e.g. Charles E King's Ke Kali Nei Au - w English lyrics written later as "Hawai'ian Wedding Song") were adapted from traditional Island tunes, and IIRC, "My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua" was one of those.
Does anyone know if it was, indeed, based on a traditional Hawai'ian tune and, if so, what that song was?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM

"My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaiʻi was a popular song written for the July 4th canoe races in Kona in 1933. Tommy Harrison gave the song to Johnny Noble to publish, who revised the music to give it a new melody without changing Bill Cogswell's words. Once published, the song became a major hit, and has since been recorded many times. Noble turned over the royalties to the Sherman Clay in San Francisco for $500.00 advance royalty, giving the credit to Cogswell and Harrison. [1]

The title refers to Kealakekua Bay where Captain James Cook was killed in 1779. The song mentions Hônaunau, site of Puʻuhonua o Hônaunau National Historical Park, also located in the Kona District on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The lyrics also refer to the Reef triggerfish by its name in the Hawaiian Language, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa.

A recording by Leon Redbone & Ringo Starr featured in the film "50 First Dates" (2004)."

from Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:19 PM

"My Little Grass Shack....." was based on the popular melody, "Back in Hackensack, New Jersey," composed by Art Beiner and Dan Russo in 1924.

The two malihini, Harrison and Cogswell, sang it at the Kona Canoe Races, July 4, 1933 and later in Honolulu.
The story is that they they took the song to Johnny Noble. Noble, afraid of everybody having used it, "revised the music sufficiently to give it almost a new melody line." Noble did not change Cogswell's words, which had a 'nostalgic' appeal.
Noble published the song, giving credit to Harrison and Cogswell. In his "Notes on Hawaiian Music," Noble states: "The first two thousand copies sold locally went like hot cakes- the demand for the song was too great. I ordered another two thousand and they too were sold out within a few weeks."
Noble sent a copy to Ted Fio Rito, whose orchestra was playing at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Played on his radio program, it became a smash hit.
Publishers scrambled for the rights, and the song was turned over to the Sherman Clay Co. in San Francisco for an advance royalty of $500.

George S. Kanahele, 1979, "Hawaiian Music and Musicians," pp. 261-262, Univ. Hawai'i Press, Honolulu.

Lyrics posted by Shula in 1997 are correct.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM

Aw gee, Peace, you beat me to it.

But I got the Hackensack original in there!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:37 PM

LOL

Q: I always read your posts because no matter how hard I look around the internet I can always see that your scholarship is way ahead of mine. Mudcat is lucky to have you here.

BM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM

"Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)" was written by King in 1925 for his operetta, Prince of Hawaii. It was written as a duet for baritone and soprano. It was first recorded by Columbia in 1928 with Helen Desha Beamer and Sam Kapu, accompanied by Don Barriento's Hawaiian Orchestra.
The song was first introduced to the public by the Royal Hawaiian Band and its two singers, John Paoakalani Heleluhe and Lizzie Alohikea.
Andy Williams recorded it as "Hawaiian Wedding Song," in 1959.

Hawaiians prefer "Lei Aloha Lei Makamae" as their wedding song; composed by King in 1934. It too is a duet for baritone and soprano.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:45 PM

Info on "Ke Kali Nei Au" also from Kanahele, "Hawaiian Music and Musicians."


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Subject: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawai'i
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 04:57 PM

Actually, Q, now that you mention it, I do remember that "Back In Hackensack, NJ" song as the predecessor of "My Little Grass Shack."   LOL

BTW, I've found that often (too often, IMO) in the hapa haole pop songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s, the haole singers (and dancers) were incredibly sloppy in their pronunciation of the Hawaii'an language words (and in their feeble "hula" attempts).

Here is a prime example.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua,
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:07 PM

Back In Hackensack, New Jersey

I'd say if "Johnny Noble ... , afraid of everybody having used it, "revised the music sufficiently to give it almost a new melody line," the emphasis should be on the "almost." LOL


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK IN HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 02:32 PM

Both the Levy collection and Indiana University have the sheet music for BACK IN HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY, but images aren't available online because the song is still under copyright protection. However, I was able to transcribe the chorus from the recording at YouTube. (You can hear a less "tinny" recording at RedHotJazz.com.)

There is still at least one missing verse that begins:
'"Mammy" songs have been the craze and "baby" songs have had their days.'


BACK IN HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY
Words and music by Art L. Beiner, and Dan A. Russo.
Chicago: Ted Browne Music Co., copyright 1924.

CHORUS: I wanna go back to a black little shack back in Hackensack, New Jersey.
I wanna see all the pals and the gals that I used to know.
I'll see my baby brother playing around the kitchen floor.
I'll hear my mother saying, "Come on there, kiddy, Daddy's gonna be here pretty soon."
'Twill be soon, and the moon will be shining down on Jersey.
There never was a sweeter sight to see, take it from me.
I may be old-fashioned and a small-town boy,
But I know the meaning of the word called joy.
I'm going back to that little black shack back in Hackensack, New Jersey,
And let the world learn how to smile from me.

* * *
There seems to be an article that quotes from the song:
"The Soundtrack of Hackensack" by Jim Beckerman, in (Bergen County, NJ, July 8, 2003)
--but you have to sign up to see the whole article. I didn't.


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