Not sure about this at all

Awomp-bomp-A-loo-Mop Alomp-Bomp-Bomp! Can I ask you to try something? When you have a moment, go to your music streaming service, or just use YouTube, and search out Little Richard’s original 1955 recording of Tutti Frutti.

Awomp-bomp-A-loo-Mop Alomp-Bomp-Bomp!


37 thoughts on “Not sure about this at all”

  1. I remember the late70’s/early80’s 50’s fad. Matchbox, Crazy Cavan, Stray Cats, then the real ones like Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and the more obscure Sun records artists like Sterling Hayden, Billy Lee Riley, etc. Little Richard was always too…straight, a square.

  2. I can definitely hear barmp barmp in the middle verses and only in the end does it clearly become the traditional bam boom.

  3. Dennis, Yet Again

    Little Richard sang the lyrics as he did because the original lyrics are obscene… Sodomy and whatnot.

  4. Many 50’s rock’n’roll lyrics were in code, for instance Chuck Berry singing “my ding-a-ling”. Teenagers knew, parents didn’t have a clue.

  5. Jussi, I always thought Led Zepp’s Whole Lotta Love was pretty fruity. But I understand there’s a tolerably non-smutty explanation for the phrase ‘back door man’…

  6. Dennis, A Wog Or Not A Wog... That Is The Question

    In ‘Merican blues “back door man” means the man a married woman is having an affair with. Husband goes out the front door to work, the back door man goes in through the back door for sex with the wife.

    Howlin’ Wolf has the best version I’ve heard.

  7. Nigger ‘music’ (and its many derivatives) is one of the many symptoms of western decadence. There were – and still are – many joyful and civilised forms of popular dance and song, but a Dionysian frenzy to a jungle beat approaches barbarism.

  8. Hopefully that’s an attempt at a spoof of Roger Scruton, not an actual belief.


  9. The Meissen Bison

    @Henry Crun

    The Lemon Song owes its zest to Robert Johnson: You can squeeze my lemon / Till the juice runs down my leg

  10. That’s the tolerably non-smutty explanation I was referring to, Dennis.

    I think you do Sir Scruton an injustice, Tom.

    Equally, the phrase ‘Dionysian frenzy to a jungle beat’ is a just description of far too much that assaults the Lud ears.

    I’m conflicted on this stuff.

    I mean, if I listen to Robert Plant screeching and John Bonham’s drum savagery, or Jimmy Page’s fingernails dancing on a guitar (or Jimi Hendrix’s, for that matter), I cannot fail to be impressed – even if sometimes it seems somewhat ‘jolie laide’. Django Reinhardt also, if anyone’s interested.

    But then I hear ‘Sheep may safely graze’, or the allegretto to Beethoven’s 6th or … whatever, it doesn’t really matter, because on almost any metric it is *superior*. One might still listen to ‘Kashmir’, or ‘Hey, Jude’ and enjoy them. But even if they possess equal musician-ship, they are almost always depraved. On the other, other hand, so am I.

    The sound of an electric guitar is the perfect illustration of this: it is intrinsically hideous; but it has created melodies and memories most of us hold dear.

    I am now going to smoke my pipe in my shed, whilst listening to:

  11. “Teenagers knew, parents didn’t have a clue.”

    Ya reckon? Parents who might have listened to jazz lyrics in the twenties and thirties themselves?

  12. “There were – and still are – many joyful and civilised forms of popular dance and song, but a Dionysian frenzy to a jungle beat approaches barbarism.”

    As opposed to the dionysian frenzy to a Proper Civilized European Beat? 😛

    (and yes, that’s an actual historical documented 15thC piece..)

    Common theme through the Ages: Old Farts speak of the Scandalous Music and Habits of the Youth. At length. And Youth don’t care…

  13. @Grikath: an “actual” 15th century piece that was composed in the 1930s, by which time the composer (Carl Orff) would probably have heard some jazz.

  14. “Hopefully that’s an attempt at a spoof of Roger Scruton, not an actual belief.”

    Nope, because Scruton, being a musician and musicologist, was right. Electric thrash to a jungle beat and some vocals (ie not singing) with no musical development is not music.

  15. @dearieme: Orff might have known Jazz.. Pretty sure the writers of the original “lyrics” were unaware of a thing called “Jazz”.

    All Orff did was re-interpret a selection of timeless classics out-of-copyright, and set them to a modern symphonic score.
    The original most certainly would have not included female voices. ( other than squeals and scolds in counterpoint as bottoms were pinched…)
    And really.. Oh Fortuna is still best done in Gregorian Cant, in the right place in a proper late-medieval cathedral.. Still pisses off the local priests as well as it used to ..

  16. I don’t regard most hip-hop as singing, and much is barely music. But then I like ice-cream and it’s barely music either.

    Things don’t have to be a traditional form to be good.

    Do you decline to read novels because they’re deficient compared to epic poetry? Do you refuse to eat potatoes because they’re not part of traditional western cuisine?

    Refusing to acknowledge that things change is a mental illness.

  17. Dearieme, big band music and Benny Goodman, not many saucy lyrics there. Besides, that would’ve been negro music, not sure it was that popular amongst the white middle classes.

  18. Chris, yes you’re right, dingaling was later. I also mentioned Sterling Hayden by mistake, I didn’t mean that actor but Hayden Thompson instead.

    Apparently, this song by Buddy Holly might be the first rock song to talk about prostitution.

  19. @Theo
    Mostly agree. In 80s-90s we called BBC TOTP “TOTNs” as BBC publicly flat out refused to broadcast on TV/Radio so many white singer/groups even if in Top 10 – eg virtually all Rock & Metal

    @Tim W
    You owe Roger Scruton’s family a massive apology for that slur

  20. The curious thing’s that the music Theo’s dissing has its roots in an African interpretation of English & French popular dance & song. Straight African tends towards a lot of tedious percussion. It’s the synthesis of the two produces jazz, blues, gospel & ultimately rock

  21. @Jussi: BG and big bands were not what I had in mind as 20s jazz. BG’s big band and the other Swing bands were a 30s thing.

    You and Grikath are refusing to give up a hopelessly ill-informed point of view. You might be wiser to recognise when you are wrong.

  22. The Meissen Bison

    @Jussi I have a recording somewhere of the Benny Goodman band covering Makin’ Whopee with I forget whom fronting the band as vocalist but if not the lyrics, the sentiment (Eddie Kantor version here) is certainly a little saucy for the period.

  23. Dearieme, you did write 20s and 30s so yes, i admit i was only half right, say 40% right. I still am not convinced the parents of those middle class high school teenagers listened to raunchy jazz music in the speakeasies on the whole.

  24. I wonder if Bill Haley knew what “Shake, Rattle and Roll” implied, especially the lyric “I’m like a one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store”.

  25. BiS

    To confuse the origin of a thing with the thing itself is to commit the genetic fallacy.

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