Friday, March 13, 2015

Poetry Friday: Ranga Tanga Ring Ting Tong!

Jon Hamm as Don Draper

In honor of the final season of Mad Men starting in just a few weeks, I went over to YouTube to find some of the great hits of the Mad-Men era. Music has played an important part in building the mood on Mad Men - click here for the impressive play list for Seasons 1-7. 

Guess what I discovered while browsing around? Today is singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka's birthday!!! Yes, he of "Stupid Cupid" (1958), "Where the Boys Are" (1960), "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen" (1961) and "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" (1962), was born March 13, 1939. Happy Birthday, Mr. Sedaka!

Neil Sedaka as Neil Sedaka

Here's a video of Neil Sedaka singing "Calendar Girl" (1960.) Hang on to your hats - the video is a doozy.

What can I say? Times were strange (as Don Draper knows....)

Now, someone tell me please why I can remember all the lyrics (every word) to "Calendar Girl" (1960) when I can't even remember where I left my car keys this morning. It has something to do with areas of the brain and where musical memory is stored, but sometimes I scare myself with how many songs of the 60's I can still sing from beginning to end.

Since it's Poetry Friday, I'm going to share the lyrics for one of Sedaka's songs. A true classic.

I Go Ape

The moon is bright above
Oh, what a night for love
And as I hold you near
I whisper in your ear:

I go ape every time I see you smile
I'm a ding dong gorilla and I'll carry you cave man style
I'm gonna bump you on the head and love you all the while
Well, I'm a monkey's uncle who's a cousin to a chimpanzee
Like I was reelin' and a rockin' and a swingin' from a coconut tree
Oh, honey can't you see you bring out the monkey business in me
Ranga tanga ring ting tong, I'm related to old King Kong
Honey won't you say you're mine
With a honky tonky monkey shine
When you hold my hand I'm a pre-historic man, I go ape!
Like a barrel on monkeys on an abadaba honeymoon
I go squealin' and a screechin' and a howlin' like a big baboon
Well baby
Well, baby, I'll explode if you don't come and kiss me soon
Oh, well, honey, you know that I'm gonna be true to you
I'll keep you in bananas and bring you coconuts, too
And we'll settle down in the nearest county zoo
Ranga tanga ring ting tong
I'm related to old King Kong
Honey, won't you say you're mine?
With a honky tonky monkey shine
When you hold my hand I'm a pre-historic man.
I go ape! 

P.S. March 13th is also the anniversary of the release of Lady Madonna by the Beatles -  March 13th, 1968. Here's a link to the lyrics for that song. Songs changed a bit from 1960 to 1968, yes? Of course, so did the world.
The Poetry Friday round-up is hosted today by Laura over at Author Amok. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 



  1. I'm right there with you, Julie. Some of the lyrics to rather odd songs ("Purple People Eater"), bubble to the surface, yet, I can't remember the name of a coworker I've been working with for 25 years!

    I've got a very musical post today, too, at Random Noodling!

  2. Hi, Julie. I've heard that one therapy for people struggling with memory loss is singing songs from their youth. For some reason, the combination of words and music and childhood sticks in our brains.

  3. It's true - using that part of the brain (musical memory) can help in all kinds of ways, including regaining speech after a stroke. There's a wonderful movie with Robert de Niro, where he's an ex-cop who has had a stroke and is working with a neighbor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, to regain his speech via piano and singing.

  4. Oh, my! What a variety of calendar girls! Some looked like housewives, but August was only covered by a few scraps of cloth! And, yes, that headdress for July! Crazy!

  5. Hahaha! Those are some out there lyrics! And that video, too much! A rollicking good post, Julie!