Song Lyric Sunday: Two By Allan Sherman

Jim tells us that Di wants to hear novelty songs. I suppose song parodies fit into this category, and, to my mind, the guy with the greatest song parodies was Allan Sherman. Before The Beatles stole my heart (well, whatever), Allan was my favorite recording artist. I had two of his albums, My Son The Celebrity (1963) and Allan In Wonderland (1964), and played them constantly, to the chagrin of my parents and brothers.

Allan played an important role in my musical education: he parodied popular songs from years gone by, leaving me to find out what the original song was. For example, his song “Green Stamps” was a parody of the song “Green Eyes,” originally a Spanish song, “Aquellos Ojos Verdes,” written by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menéndez in 1929. Eddie Rivera and Eddie Woods wrote the English lyrics for it in 1931, and it was made popular in 1941 by Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell singing with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. The parody appeared on Allan In Wonderland.

Thrill me with your green stamps
I love your little green stamps
I took collecting green stamps
I love the way they look

Oh how I love to pick them
I pick them up, and lick them
I lick them, then I stick them
In my brown green stamp book

All day and night I’m dreaming
I’m dreaming of redeeming
My green stamps for a toaster,
So gleaming and deluxe

Oh how it will thrill me,
And please me and fulfill me,
To know my toaster only cost me
Fourteen hundred bucks

I drive up to the market
I stop my car and park it
I buy a lot of strange things
Of which I’ve never heard

I buy, though it’s not urgent,
Two truckloads of detergent,
Three hundred pounds of bird seed,
Though I don’t have a bird

Some extract of vanilla,
Enough to feed Godzilla
Then I’ll trade all my green stamps
For something I can drive

A car is what I hope for,
What I bought all that soap for
They promise me the first Studebaker
Made in 1965

Source: Lyrics.com

And here is “Mexican Hat Dance,” which, as far as I know, has no words in English, until now. From My Son, The Celebrity.

Oh Americans dance on a dance floor
And the Spaniards, they dance on a table
And the Russians, they dance on a saber
But the Mexicans dance on their hats

Oh they dance on hot coals in Calcutta
In Wisconsin they dance on fresh butta,
Which they squeeze from one cow or anutta
Yes, the Mexicans dance on their hats

(Ole!)

There are Mexicans dancing on derbies
There are Mexicans dancing on caps
They just throw their fedoras
Wherever the floor is,
And start doing horas and taps

They won’t quit! They go on!
It’s a Mexican custom,
To take hats and bust ’em,
By doing a dance thereupon

Oh the reason they shot Pancho Villa
Was he danced on his mother’s mantilla
And the message did not reach Garcia
He was out somewhere dancing on hats

(Ole!)

There’s a fellow in West Acapulco,
The most elegant man you could meet
He does sambas on hombergs
To tunes of Sig Romberg’s,
And sometimes the Nutcracker Suite

So take care! So beware!
Or they’ll put castanets on
And ruin your Stetson,
‘Cause they all think they’re Fred Astaire!

If you’re ever in Mexico proper,
And you’re wearing a straw hat or topper,
When the band starts to play, call a copper,
‘Cause by now you should know
That they’ll grab your chapeau,
and they’ll stomp till it’s flat,
And that’s that!

That’s what Mexicans do on your hat

(Ole!)

Source: Lyrics.com

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for September 11, 2022.

35 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Two By Allan Sherman

  1. Think Mexican Hat Dance is genius; so much so it inspired me to add a verse:

    If you’re looking for pure song perfection
    And a parody’s your predilection
    We’ve determined, call on Allan Sherman
    Doff your caps then, yes hat’s off to him. (ole’)

    Love Weird Al but raised on this pretty weird Al himself. Sherman is Yankovic’s idol and “the faddah of the parody”, Do think being raised Jewish raises one’s appreciation with much of his work somewhat Jew.-ish

    Like

    1. I read that his first two albums, “My Son, The Folk Singer” and “My Son, The Celebrity” were more Jewish oriented, and he realized that he’d get a bigger audience if he was more (for lack of a better word) agnostic. Weird Al has been a worthy successor…

      Love the new verse!

      Like

  2. I love both your songs John! So funny. We grew up with those green stamps too. Everyone was so serious about them. I remember cigarettes came with cards/coupons that you saved in the same way. Sign of those times. By the way that little running elephant on your home page is very cute ☺️

    Like

    1. I collected the coupons for a while: you could get them on Raleigh, Bel Air, Old Gold, Chesterfield, an d a couple of others. Collecte enough, you could get yourself an iron lung…

      Stampy (the elephant in the sidebar) has been there for a month or so. I had used that GIF a couple of times, then someone suggested I ought to put him in the right-hand column. So I did…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both of these are so funny! I hadn’t heard them before, either. The Green Stamp song reminds me of the days I worked at an S & H Green Stamp redemption center counting customer’s stamp books and going in back to get their items. 🙂

    Like

You can use Markdown in your comments. Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s