Monday, June 01, 2009

Hi De HI De Hi De Ho

Cab Calloway's next Betty Boop cartoon after Minnie the Moocher was called Snow White (1932). He sang St. James Infirmary Blues as Koko the Clown, a ghost, a gold coin, and a bottle of booze. As you can undoubtedly imagine, this is not your Disney version of Snow White. Just as they did in Minnie the Moocher, Calloway's dancing has been rotoscoped onto the cartoon characters singing his song.

Folks, I'm going down to St. James Infirmary,
See my baby there,
She's stretched out on a long, white table,
She's so sweet, so cold, so fair.

Let her go, let her go, oh, bless her,
Wherever she may be;
She will search this wide world over,
But she'll never find another sweet man like me.

Now, when I die bury me in my straight-leg britches,
Put on a box-back coat and a stetson hat,
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch-chain,
So you can let all the boys know I died standing pat.

Then give me six crap-shootin' pall-bearers,
Let a chorus girl sing me a song;
Put a red-hot jazz band at the top of my head
So they can raise hallelujah as we go along.

Now, folks, that you have heard my story...

Say, boy, hand me over another shot of that booze,
If anyone should ask you,
Tell 'em I got those St. James Infirmary Blues.

Did you notice how the queen looks and sounds a little like Olive Oyl from the Popeye cartoons? This is because, as you all ready know, Popeye was a Max Fleischer cartoon and Mae Questel, who was the voice of Betty Boop, was also the voice of Olive Oyl and the voice of the queen in this cartoon.

A couple more interesting facts, St. James Infirmary Blues is the story of a woman who died of a cocaine overdose and cocaine is also known as snow. Humm, cocaine, snow, Snow White. Is that just a coincidence ...or not?

No comments: