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Orville mogul
11-24-2004, 03:10 AM
OK, this is a longshot here, but I am trying to attribute the origin and meaning of a nonsense song (nonsense to me at least) that I grew up with. My late grandmother used to sing this to me when I was little, and the tune and words have stuck in my mind ever since.

I really have no idea of where the song could have come from, except that my grandmother was a second generation Italian and there are a number of bastardized Italian terms floating around the family. On the other hand, it may have nothing to do with that.

This is what I remember of the song:

"... a dooooray oh,
a doray rett sett sett,
a doray doray rett sett sett,
a say pah say ohhhh...."

Sorry I can't post the tune! Can anyone shed any light on this?

Zoe
11-24-2004, 05:10 AM
I can repeat it only as I hear it in my head -- not as it would be spelled. It's called Sarasponda -- but I don't know even how that is spelled.

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda, ret-set-set.
Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda, ret-set-set.
Adore-ray-oh!
Adore-ray-boom-bay-oh!
Adore-ray-boom-bay-ret-set-set
Ah-say-poss-say-oh!

I'll see if I can find a coherent version for you!

Zoe
11-24-2004, 05:14 AM
This (http://www.macscouter.com/Songs/CampfireSongs.html#Sarasponda) is close.

Zoe
11-24-2004, 05:29 AM
Here we go. This one (http://xenia.media.mit.edu/~kristin/songbook/PartSongsAndRounds/Sarasponda.html) is as I remember it. I forgot about the "Boom da" that is repeated at the beginning.

It's been 42 years since I was a camp counselor and song leader.

Okay. Ready, kiddos? Do you know these?

1. "Kookaburra sits in the old ____ ____"

2. "One dark night while we were all in bed, Mrs. ______ left a lantern in the shed."

3. "This old _____ killed John Henry."

Gyrate
11-24-2004, 05:42 AM
1 is definitely "gum tree"; I used to sing that one as a young'un. I don't know the other two (although context leads me to guess that 2 is "O'Leary" and 3 is "hammer").

Orville mogul
11-24-2004, 06:03 AM
This (http://www.macscouter.com/Songs/CampfireSongs.html#Sarasponda) is close.

Wow! That is definitely it! I had no idea it was a campfire song. I was a cub scout in my time, but don't think we ever sang Sarasponda. I am pretty sure that I heard it from my Grandmother.

I am curious as to its origins and meaning. One site mentions it is a Dutch folk classic. I'll have to look into it. Thanks!

PaulFitzroy
11-24-2004, 06:07 AM
Does anyone know what culture that song from the OP comes from? The words sure as hell aren't English, that's for sure.

Freejooky
11-24-2004, 06:28 AM
Anyone remember "All me rock?"

"All me rock, me rock
boy-z boy-z couldn't sleep
all me rock, me rock
boy-z, boy-z couldn't sleep

Go uptown
go downtown
see Boy-z there

All me rock, me rock
boy-z, boy-z couldn't sleep"

I haven't been able to find any evidence of its existence in ~20 years.

Katriona
11-24-2004, 03:14 PM
Here we go. This one (http://xenia.media.mit.edu/~kristin/songbook/PartSongsAndRounds/Sarasponda.html) is as I remember it. I forgot about the "Boom da" that is repeated at the beginning.

It's been 42 years since I was a camp counselor and song leader.

Okay. Ready, kiddos? Do you know these?

1. "Kookaburra sits in the old ____ ____"

2. "One dark night while we were all in bed, Mrs. ______ left a lantern in the shed."

3. "This old _____ killed John Henry."

1. Gum Tree.

2. We always said "Old Lady Liza." I have always wondered what OLL's last name was!

BubbaDog
11-24-2004, 03:48 PM
Liza?
I thought that it was a reference to Mrs O'leary (We sang it 'old lady Leary')
Her Cow and the Chicago Fire (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?isbn=0-7864-1424-3)

Rilchiam
12-14-2004, 11:22 PM
Does anyone know what culture that song from the OP comes from? The words sure as hell aren't English, that's for sure.

I was told that it's just nonsense words, made up by a woman keeping time with her spinning wheel.

Bob_Hutchison
08-08-2009, 11:46 AM
I have just been learning "Twi", the language of the Ashanti in Ghana and in the last line, "Ase pase O" could have come from the Twi phrase, "Ase Paa" which means, Thank you very much." - Or not. Maybe this is a clue.

E-Sabbath
08-08-2009, 02:49 PM
Might be Gullah, too. Kumbaya is Gullah.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullah

Andy L
08-08-2009, 08:13 PM
I can repeat it only as I hear it in my head -- not as it would be spelled. It's called Sarasponda -- but I don't know even how that is spelled.

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda, ret-set-set.
Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda, ret-set-set.
Adore-ray-oh!
Adore-ray-boom-bay-oh!
Adore-ray-boom-bay-ret-set-set
Ah-say-poss-say-oh!

I'll see if I can find a coherent version for you!

I hope you find out what it is, because I learned it back in the 70's somehow - but have no idea where (in school? in the gutter?), and now that I know I didn't imagine it, I'm rather eager to learn more about it.

Andy

Dijon Warlock
08-09-2009, 12:29 PM
We sang this at summer church camp when I was a kid (1970s).

A part of the kids (usually the boys) would do the "Boom-da, boom-da, boom-da" part as the underlying rhythm, and then the girls would sing the rest of the words...although we had it as "Ado-ray-boom-day-oh".

I want to say that the old books we sang it from gave an African origin, but I don't remember for certain (it was over 30 years ago, after all).

We sang another one that was also (to us, anyway) nonsense syllables, but may also have been presented as African, as well. It was a round, so the first two lines were sung by one part of the group, and then they were sung by the second part as the first part sang the last two lines. It went like this:

A ram-sam-sam, a ram-sam-sam, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A ram-sam-sam, a ram-sam-sam, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A rafi, a rafi, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A rafi, a rafi, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam

What on earth any of that meant, I have no idea; but it used to piss off the counsellors if we'd sing it backwards.

The fun thing about the "Sarasponda" song was that with every repetition, we'd have to sing it faster and faster until it was too fast to articulate and we were laughing too hard to continue.

There may be arcane demons walking the earth as a result of this. I have no idea. It had to mean something, though... :eek:

Jerseyman
08-09-2009, 12:37 PM
Gooli is interesting because it reminds me of this old Scout song: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=ging+gang+gooly I doubt that Baden-Powell was thinking of goolies at the time, but right behind where I live is rows of small cottages that look suspiciously like 19th century or earlier barracks by the name of Gulistan Terrace, so presumably Gooli could refer to a place in India.

squeegee
08-09-2009, 12:46 PM
We sang another one that was also (to us, anyway) nonsense syllables, but may also have been presented as African, as well. It was a round, so the first two lines were sung by one part of the group, and then they were sung by the second part as the first part sang the last two lines. It went like this:

A ram-sam-sam, a ram-sam-sam, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A ram-sam-sam, a ram-sam-sam, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A rafi, a rafi, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-sam
A rafi, a rafi, gooli-gooli-gooli-gooli ram-sam-samThat was the theme song to a 60's era Chicago-area produced show called "The Magic Door"; it was a kids religious (Jewish) show that featured a leprechaun-ish live-action guy named Tiny Tov and various hand puppets. The show opened with Tov singing what you wrote above, and finish with "Come through the Magic Door with me" etc, inviting you to a tiny door in an acorn. I'm guessing the TV show appropriated the song from some traditional (Yiddish? No clue.) source.

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