P.S. -- No, it wasn't "Merry Go Round Broke Down"
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Three Stooges Fan and Collector Since 1962
I have been saying for years that this song does not sound like "Mocking Bird"
and this is the first confirmation I've heard that confirms it.
And from Moe himself!!
>One of the songs in the Stooge shorts is "3 Blind Mice" but there was another song in the early shorts... with sort of a quacking
>sound and birds twittering. Can anybody name that tune?
>P.S. -- No, it wasn't "Merry Go Round Broke Down"
It was the chorus of "Listen to the Mockingbird" ("I'm dreaming now of
my Nellie/Of my Nellie..." etc.).
Um... well... yes it is.
Moe may have been referring to the theme used for "Woman Haters", "Men in
Black" and a couple of the really early ones. See the Marx Brothers film "Go
West", where Chico's piano solo is "Listen to the Mockingbird." It's the
Stooges theme. Period.
Sorry to be heretical, but if Moe was referring to that song and said it
wasn't "Listen to the Mockingbird," Moe was wrong.
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> This early Three Stooges theme song DOES NOT have a name!!! Contrary to some
> of the false reports that crop up on this newsgroup from time to time which
> identify the title as "Listen to the Mockingbird," this IS NOT the same
> the Stooges used in their early shorts. "Listen to the Mockingbird" was the
> theme song for the "Heckle and Jeckle" cartoon shorts, and while it does sound
> similar to the Stooges tune (particularly because of the tweeting birds heard
> in the background of the Stooges theme), the Stooges' early theme song is
> ABSOLUTELY NOT "Listen to the Mockingbird." I learned this information
> directly from Moe back in 1974, and I trust his word when he said that that
> original theme music was an original composition written specifically for the
> Stooges shorts.
> Bill Kurtz
> Three Stooges Fan and Collector Since 1962
Bill if I may interject.
I agree that "Listen to the Mockingbird" was the cartoon theme, but that is
the chorus which most people know well. However the early Stooge theme is
indeed Mockingbird. It is a little sung verse that accompanies
Mockingbird. There are a lot of songs out there with little sung verses
that people don't know - including even Moe Howard.
Other themes such as those from Women Haters may fit the bill (no pun intended).
And of course "Glory, Glory, Hallelulah" was used for one of the Civil War
Maybe someone with the sheet music for Mockingbird could clear it up.
I wonder if anyone has a web page on just the themes?
OK, you knucklehead. It most certainly is "Listen to the Mockingbird".
Not the chorus, the part most people know:
Listen to the mockingbird, listen to the mockingbird.
The mockingbird is singing o'er her grave ...
but the less well-known part of the song -- the verse:
I'm dreaming now of Hallie,
Sweet Hallie, sweet Hallie ...
The melody was "jazzed up" a bit for the stooges theme, but it is still
quite clearly recognizeable as the verse of "Listen to the Mockingbird".
The song's chorus is not used in the Stooges theme.
There is a midi version of the song, and the lyrics, at
(Pound those horse teeth, sister!)
Mark Mudgett mudgett.at.s...@spamkiller.org
> In article <199808312254...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
> topsh...@aol.com (TopShaNaNa) wrote:
> > This early Three Stooges theme song DOES NOT have a name!!! Contrary to some
> > of the false reports that crop up on this newsgroup from time to time which
> > identify the title as "Listen to the Mockingbird," this IS NOT the same song
> > the Stooges used in their early shorts. "Listen to the Mockingbird" was the
> > theme song for the "Heckle and Jeckle" cartoon shorts, and while it does sound
> > similar to the Stooges tune (particularly because of the tweeting birds heard
> > in the background of the Stooges theme), the Stooges' early theme song is
> > ABSOLUTELY NOT "Listen to the Mockingbird." I learned this information
> > directly from Moe back in 1974, and I trust his word when he said that that
> > original theme music was an original composition written specifically for the
> > Stooges shorts.
> > Bill Kurtz
> > Three Stooges Fan and Collector Since 1962
> Um... well... yes it is.
> Moe may have been referring to the theme used for "Woman Haters", "Men in
> Black" and a couple of the really early ones. See the Marx Brothers film "Go
> West", where Chico's piano solo is "Listen to the Mockingbird." It's the
> Stooges theme. Period.
> Sorry to be heretical, but if Moe was referring to that song and said it
> wasn't "Listen to the Mockingbird," Moe was wrong.
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum
"Say hello to Valerie. Say hello to Vivian.
Send them all my salary on the waters of oblivion."
obliv...@nls.net Please remove XX to reply.
Sorry I got the lyrics of "Listen to the Mockingbird" wrong, but
that's the way I learned it in Cub Scouts. (Yeh, I know..."Scuse me
while I kiss this guy...")
It's hardly surprising that the Stooges would use two Public Domain
theme songs in their comedies, inasmuch as Columbia seldom spent any
money for incidental music in their 2-reelers, even though former
song-plugger Harry Cohn was crazy about "pop" tunes.
Most of the early Columbia shorts (1933-36) used stock themes from the
studio vaults; a few of these were written by Archie Gottler for the
short-lived "Musical Novelties" series (the only currently available
entry in this series is the Stooges' WOMAN HATERS). One of the most
frequently-heard themes in the mid-1930s films was "Man on the
Parallel Bars", a novelty tune sung by Leon Errol in 1934's PERFECTLY
From 1937 onward, the short-subject themes were lifted from Public
Domain. Andy Clyde's theme song fluctuated between "Old Gray Mare" and
a medley of "Reuben Reuben" and "Turkey in the Straw" (the last-named
tune was also used for Columbia's two Slim Summerville shorts of the
mid-1940s). Charley Chase's theme from 1938 to 1940 was "For He's a
Jolly Good Fellow"; this song was later applied to the Hugh Herbert
2-reelers. Most of the rest of the Columbia star comedians (Buster
Keaton, Vera Vague, Harry Langdon, El Brendel etc.) had to be
satisfied with "Merrily We Roll Along", which was used (with
occasional variations) from 1938 through 1956. The last non-Stooge
Columbia comedy was TRICKY CHICKS, starring Muriel Landers; the theme
for this 1957 short was "The Heat is On", originally heard in MISS
SADIE THOMPSON (1954) (a brief clip from TRICKY CHICKS was re-used in
the Stooges' SWEET AND HOT; Landers' original "Heat is On" number
ended with a striptease!)
I know I've said this before, and it can't possibly have any effect on
the films at this late date, but I wish that Columbia had used
background music more often in their 2-reelers. I love that
"high-society" piece heard during the dinner sequence in TERMITES OF
1938, and I'm nuts about the dramatic accompaniment used in PUNCHY
Curiously, in 1936 the studio briefly toyed with background music in
the shorts, as witness Andy Clyde's PEPPERY SALT and Monte Collins &
Tom Kennedy's MIDNIGHT BLUNDERS. There was also a bit more music than
usual in the Stooge films of this period: The violin/bass/harmonica
"swing" tune in DISORDER IN THE COURT, the waltz theme heard during
the fashion show in SLIPPERY SILKS (which evidently orginated in Frank
Capra's BROADWAY BILL) and the can-can in WHOOPS I'M AN INDIAN. After
that, alas, virtually the only music heard was "utilitarian": if
someone was dancing on-screen, he or she would be accompanied by
music, but that was about it (The "Glove Slingers" shorts of the early
1940s were top-heavy with such specialty numbers).
For the benefit of the two of you who might be interested, I've tried
to track down a few of the tunes heard in the Stooge comedies.That
very brief, Slavic-sounding dance number heard during the wrestling
match in RESTLESS KNIGHTS came from BROADWAY BILL (and was also heard
in the latter film's remake, RIDING HIGH). The dance-hall tune used
in HORSES COLLARS was a stock theme previously deployed in silent
pictures and coming-attraction trailers. "Let's Fall In Love" (heard
in PUNCH DRUNKS, RHYTHM AND WEEP and SWEET AND HOT) was from the 1934
Ann Sothern vehicle of the same name. "I'll Take Romance", hummed by
Christine McIntyre in ALL GUMMED UP, was from the same-named Grace
Moore picture of 1937. The "conga" number in THREE SMART SAPS
originated in 1942's BLONDIE GOES LATIN. The establishing music in
SQUAREHEADS OF THE ROUND TABLE is from BANDIT OF SHOREWOOD FOREST (as
was the huge castle set seen in the film). And while I don't know
where that peppy "march" tune used in so many Stooge comedies
originated, I have heard it in such Columbia features as MR. SMITH
GOES TO WASHINGTON and THE SHADOW (1937).
And as if I haven't bored you enough, one more tidbit. When the
non-Stooge Columbia shorts were released to TV in 1959 under the
umbrella title "Hilarious Hundred", the package included an oddball
1943 musical 2-reeler, MY WIFE'S AN ANGEL, starring Allen Jenkins and
the Mills Brothers. I often wondered over the years why more of these
mini-musicals hadn't been made by the Jules White/Hugh McCollum unit,
until I managed to pick up a copy of the film in 1993. That's when I
learned that MY WIFE'S AN ANGEL was produced in New York by Ben K.
Blake for Columbia release (Blake also made a 1938 Joe Besser short
called CUCKORANCHO, and would I like to see *that*!)
Curiously, one of the incidental themes in this short--a "chase"
number heard during an acrobatic act--later popped up in the
Hanna-Barbera cartoon series HUCKLEBERRY HOUND and QUICK DRAW McGRAW,
both of which were produced during a Hollywood musician's strike, and
both of which were distributed by Columbia's TV subsidiary Screen
I wouldn't be bending your ear with all this trivia if there was a
"non-Stooge Columbia shorts" newsgroup. My lifelong love for the
Stooges led me to seek out other Columbia 2-reelers from private
collectors in the 1980s and 1990s--a very satisfying archeological
expedition. Many of these Columbias are bow-wows, but some of them
are as good as anything the Stooges put out.
Thanks for the info. Also worthy of note is the music used in
"Punch Drunks". The script (by Howard, Fine, and Howard)
called for "The Stars and Stripe Forever" by Sousa as the song
that gets Kid Stradivarius excited. Columbia refused to pay
the royalty, so they used "Pop Goes the Weasel" (that weasel tune)
instead. According to Moe, in his autobiography.
"It's a bazooney!"