Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bark us all bow-wows of folly!

(I should have included this with last Sunday's toons. Ah well. Think of it as an extra holiday treat for you.)

Scattered throughout Walt Kelly's classic strip Pogo was a running debate about the true, correct, and proper lyrics to this classic carol:

As it turns out, everyone's right: There are six full verses, to be found scattered here and there among the strip over the years:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker 'n' too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloupe, 'lope with you!

Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!

Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
Hinky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie,
Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie!
Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!

Kelly was a genius. Today he's most closely associated--if he's remembered at all, alas--with the Pogo strip, which ran from 1948 to 1975. But he did a long stint in the 30s and 40s with Disney studio. According to his Wikipedia entry:

Kelly's animation can be seen in "Pinocchio" when Gepetto is first seen inside Monstro the whale, fishing; in "Fantasia" when Bacchus is seen drunkenly riding a donkey during the Beethoven/"Pastoral Symphony" sequence; and in "Dumbo" of the ringmaster and during bits of the crows' sequence; and his drawings are especially recognizable in "The Reluctant Dragon" of the little boy, and in the Mickey Mouse short "The Little Whirlwind" when Mickey is running from the larger tornado.

Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo! to you and yours.


t.a. barnhart said...

i grew up reading my dad's collection of Pogo books (and MAD Magazine, not to mention the sneaking of Playboys). Kelly was the best. he was funny, he was poignant, he had guts (before anyone else, he took on McCarthy) and he remains, for those who will find and read him, relevant today. it was Walk Kelly, speaking thru Pogo, who gave us the immortal line about what it means to be human: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

thanks, Bill

Nothstine said...

Hey, thanks--

It broke my heart when Kelly shut Pogo down.

Do I remember correctly that he did so in part because newspapers were reducing the size of his strips, so that his sharply edged detail work was being turned to mush on the newsprint page? If so, Pogo was an early casualty in the same war that Doonesbury, Calvin & Hobbes, and Bloom County/Outland/Opus would use all their clout to wage a decade or two later.

I never cared much for Al Capp's satire--it always seemed too smug. The humility of Pogo was much more attractive. Not that he couldn't bring out the long knives when the occasion called for it. One of the last story arcs before the strip ended featured Spiro Agnew as a hyena.

Certainly worked for me.