"Whatsa matta for you, hey!"

I remember hearing a song, or could have been a schoolyard rhyme -
“Whatsa matta for you, hey! It’sa notsa bad, hey!”

What’s it from, and am I right in thinking Italian people would find it offensive?


The song was 1981 ‘hit’ “Shaddap You Face” by Joe Dolce, who’s apparently doing quite nicely for himself.

“Is there life after Shaddap You Face?”

I lived in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, and I don’t recall anyone saying it was offensive, but then, I was only 8 at the time.

Those are roughly the words of this ghastly song in the 1970s by Joe Dolce (think he wasn an Italian Aussie) called “Shaddap you face”. It got to number 1 in the UK and kept Ultravox’s brilliant Vienna off the top spot.

What’sa matta you, hey,
Gotta no respect, whatta you think you do,
Why you looka so sad?
It’s-a not so bad, it’s-a nice-a place,
Ah, Shaddap You Face.

Sorry, I stand corrected on the date.

I think most right-thinking people found it offensive. But maybe not in the way you’re suggesting. :slight_smile:

Brilliant, I now have this song wedged in my brain, and will likely be stuck with it there for weeks to come. I loved this song when it came out, we could go round saying “shaddupa ya face” to eachother and then claim innocence when confronted by parents (like Bart with “bastard” and “hell”). Gimme a break, I was 5, I think that is a valid excuse. Ah shaddupaya face!

The expression is certainly older: remember, Bullwinkle J. Moose graduated from Wossamatta U.

And you misspelt CLOYING as BRILLIANT, easy enough mistake to make.

Context dear boy, context. It’s cloying now, I concede, but then it was High Art.

You have got to be kidding me? Ultravox, High Art ???

The only good bit in the video was when the song paused.

I was dating a flat-chested girl who wore jump suits with contrasting belt and harness a la Gary Newman – I remember being with her when the charts were announced and Joe Dolce hit #1. I think she cried. And I still didn’t get any.

Whassa madda you, hey! indeed.

I was dating a plain girl who had plain straight hair, wore plain grey jumpers and a plain grey skirt. Her name was Julie. I bought her “Oh Julie” by Shakin’ Stevens, but I never got any.

Then I dumped her.

I agree with Eve. I think the expression has been around since way before 1981. Unfortunately, I can’t add any actual information other than, “Longer than that, neener, neener!” Sorry.

Plus, I could be wrong.

Do you think we should start another thread, “Girls who never put out to us despite the many compelling reasons and related songs”?

Anybody remember Bugs Bunny singing this song (transcribed phonetically; also, food order may be wrong but I think I’m capturing the essence):

Whatsamadda whatsamadda hey!
Whatsamadda with you?
I give-a you ravioli
And-a pasta pazooli too
I make-a you the spaghetti
And-a pizza that’s good to chew
You no like-a me hey!
Thatsamadda for you!

This cartoon could date from anywhere in the 50s-70s.

Older, indeed. Chico said something equivalent to this in every Marx Brothers movie.

I remember a Warner Brothers cartoon with a dog as a smart-alec waiter in an Itaian restaurant, saying or singing “watsamatta.” Could that be what you’re thinking of?

I also remember the Bugs song, but I remember it as Bugs dressed like an Italian waiter.

I remember from one of the early cartoons with the Tasmanian Devil (that should narrow it to the early 50s in this case).

I found the one I was thinking of. The character is Charlie Dog, the cartoon is “A Hound for Trouble.”

From here: http://daffydoc.topcities.com/charlie.html (bolding mine)
In the 1950’s, Charlie was so successful, that Chuck Jones arranged for Charlie to have his own series without Porky. However only two films were made. One of them being “A Hound for Trouble” (1951) with Charlie’s classic song and dance, "At’sa matter, at’sa matter."

At’sa matter, at’sa matter??
At’sa matter for you?
You eata my raviola
And my pasta fagiole too
I’mma give you caccitore
And a pizza that’s good to chew
At’sa matter you no like me??
At’sa matter for you??

On this site, there’s a question about a character, possibly Bugs, singing something like “I’ll Take Your Order.” http://forum.bcdb.com/forum/Questions_About_Toons_C17/Mystery_Cartoon_F15/Which_cartoon_is_this_P4128/

Which might be the following–but since it doesn’t particularly sound like a restaurant scenario, I’m doubtful:

(Avery - 1936)
Hello Pa, did ya have a busy day
Yes I did Ma, scared ten crows away
Now while I go and cook your supper
Get to this little cutter-upper
He wants to play scarecrow, Pa
Beats anything I ever saw
I’ll be teacher
I’ll cook the stew
Well, come on Dad, I’ll take orders from you
Now here’s the first pose
I’ll try it too
Because I’d like to take orders from you
Here’s one to try that’ll make crows fly, I use it everyday
When a crow flies down he’ll get this frown
It’ll scare any crow away
Now you try this one
That’s what I’ll do
'Cause I’d just love to take orders from you
Now, son, I’ll be the Major and I’ll give you the gong
That is, if you do any of 'em wrong
Let’s go through them all and I’ll try to do them well
But remember Pa, take it easy on the bell!