To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Toward a Poetry and Poetics of the Americas (30): That Da-Da Strain

 Mamie Medina (lyrics)


Have you heard it, have you heard it,
That Da-Da Strain?
It will shake you, it will make you
Really go insane.
Everybody's full of pep,
Makes you watch your every step.
Every prancer, every dancer,
Starts to lay 'em down,
Everybody when they hear it
Starts to buzzing 'round;
I get crazy as a loon,
When everybody hums this tune:

Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Because the feeling
Sets your brain a-reeling;
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
When everybody starts to
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
I want to do it once again,
I'm simply wild about that Da-Da,Da-Da Strain!

Oh, Da-Da Da-Da
Da-Da Da-Da,
Because this feeling
Sets your brain a'reeling,
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
When everybody starts to Da-Da,Da-Da, Da, Da-Da
I want to do it once again,
I'm simply wild about the Da-Da,Da-Da Strain.

Da, Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Because that feeling
Sets your brain a-reeling.
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
Oh, Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
I wanna do it once again,
I'm simply wild about that
Da-Da, Da-Da Strain!


 The full text of “That Da Da Strain” (1921) makes a curious & little noticed connection to the European Dada activities that immediately preceded and accompanied it. The melody, minus words, became a traditional jazz standard that persisted over the next several decades. The composers, when credited, are generally given as Mamie Medina (lyrics) & Edgar Dowell (music).  It should be noted, however, that the otherwise undefined “Da Da” parallels precisely the invention by Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Kurt Schwitters, & others of what was then a radically new sound poetry – a twentieth-century poetry without words.  Relevant also: the later development of scat singing as a jazz variant of sound poetry on deeply American grounds.

            All of this aimed here toward a new omnipoetics.

Transcribed from vocals by Ethel Waters, recorded 5/1922. From Ethel Waters 1921 - 1923, The Chronogical Classics, vol. 796.


Ella Fitzgerald, USA, 1917-1996

from Lady Be Good

Scat Version

 dih-dl-eh-dee-oo-dee-oo-dee-doo-dl-oht /doh-dl-eh-dley-oh-dloo-leht / doh-dl-eh-dley-oh-dl-ih-dee // bah-dah-dee-ah-dah-yoh-leh-yah-doh-ah-eh-ah-doh-leh-eh-ah-doh-ley-ah-dl-oh-ley-ah-dl-oh-ley-ehn / bihp / blee-bihp /// hiht / dee-dloo-dn-ah-dm-bah-bee-ih-bihp /// liht / dee-doo-dn-lah-dl-ah-dee-ih-dee-oo-dee-dihp / doo-dee-dih-dee-loh-dl-ey-oo-loh-dl-ah-dl-ah-dl-oo-dooh-doo-dl-ee-boy //// bee-ih-dih-dih-dl-oo-dee-oo-dl-oo-bee-oo-bihp /// bee-ih-dih-doo-dl-oo-dee-oo-dl-oo-bee-oo-bihp-boy-doo-dl-ee-lah-dl-ah-loh-dley(uh) // bah-bee-oo-dn-lah-dee-oo-duh-leh-doh-duh-dey-duh-duh-duh-duh-rihp / ah-oon-doht-leyt-doh-dey-doh-deh-duh-doo-dee-lih-dee-doo-dn-lah-dey-lah-dl-ah-dl-oh-dee-dee-dl-ah-dl-oh-beyl-yihp // bah-boh-beh-doom-bohp-behm

 boo-dih-loo-dooh-oo-bee-ooh-booh-eh-eeooh //// buh-dih-loo-dl-doo-bih-doo-dih-beeooh-bihp // bih-dl-ih-dl-ih-dl-ee-dl-ah-dl-ah-dl-ee-dl-ee-dee-dl-ah-dl-ah-dl-oyl-yah-dee-dl-ah-dl-ah-dl-oh-dehn-dey-oh-doh-ley-dn-dey-lah-dl-ey-doh-dl-ey-doh-dl-ey-bahp //// bey-bey-oh-beyb-bey-deh-lee-dooh-dee-dl-ah-dl-ah-deh-dl-ee-doo-dl-ah-lah-dl-ah-doh-bl-eh-bah-loh-beym // tis-ket-a-tas-ket // lost-my-yellow-bas-ket // bah-dih-doo-breh-bah-bree-boym //// boo-dooh-dee-bih-boo-bree-oy /// booh-oo-ee-dih-ee-dl-ah-dl-ah-duhp / bweem //// duh-dee-dl-ah-dl-ah-di-ee-dooh-dee-dn-ah-bl-oh-buh-bee-uh-boym /////// boo

 boo-bih-ohn-luh-dih-boo / bih-ohn-luh-dih // boo-/-bih-ohn-luh-dee-dlee-oo-dl-ah-dih-dl-ey-doo-di-ah-dih-dl-ey-doo-dl-ah-lahd-lehn // bah-bee-oo-dlee-leh-leh-loh-leh-leh-leh-noh-neh-leh //

een-dee-ee-nee // ee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nuh-yee-yuh-yih-yihn //// ee //// bee-lih-duh-dee-dih-duh-dee-lih-duh-dee-dih-duh-dee-lee-doo-dl-ee-dih-duh-dee-dooh-dooh-dee-dih-duh-dee-doo-dl-dee-dl-uh-ee ///// buh-uh-ee ///// buh-uh-ee-nee-nee-nee-ih-nih-nih-dee-uh

 eet-dih-dee-laht / dah-ee //// uh-boo-bee-un-boo-bee-un-boo-bee //// ih-bih-dooh-yooh-dooh-dooh-doo-dey-oo-dah-doo-dey-doy-ah-doo-dah-dm-dey-ohb-dey-oh-dluh-oh-boy / bah-buh-doh-dleh-ley-ley-boy ////// bih-dl-ey-dih-dih-dl-ah-dl-dih-bee-oo-dee-oo-dl-ah-dl-ah-dl-doo-dee-oo-doh-oy-dee-doo-dl-uh-bee-doo-deh-doo-dl-oh-ehm //// boh-dl-oh-dl-oh-dl-ah-boh-ehr //// boh-dl-oh-dl-oo-dl-iht-doo-ehr // boh-dee-dn-lih-dee-dn-dah-dah-dn-lih-dee-ah-lee-ah-ah-OO-DOO-BOW-BAH-OO-DN-BEE-DLEE-AH / oh-dee-dee-dlee-oo-dn-dee-bah /// oo-dee-oo-dee-oo-dee-oo-dee-oo-dee-oo-bee-uh-loot-deel / ooh-bee-oot / bih / oo-bee-oot-dee-ih-dee-oo-dlee-doh-dl-oht

 doh-dley-dey-ey-ey-ah-ah-buh-dee / doh-dley-dey-ey-ey-oy /// ooh-dn-dee / ooh-dn-dee / ooh-dee-dn-rih-bih-blee-oo-boo-boym /// oop-bop-sh’-bam-a-klook-a-mopl // dee-dih-lih-dl-dih-dee-lih-dl-uh-ooh-ee /// ee-ih-dih-dn-dih-dlee-ah-bih-doo-dih-dee-ah-bahp / blee-ah-dl-ah-doh-loh-dl-oh-deyl // bah-blee-oh-doo-dah-dee-doh-lah / dee-oo-dee-oo-doo-loh-dl-oy-uh-oym /////// beh-oh-dl-deh-dih-deh-dih-dee-dah-doo-deh-doot-dee-oo-bahp / beh-oo-daht / bee-oo-bahp / bee-ooh-behm // I’m-just-a-lonesome-babe-in-the-woods // Oh,-lady,-oh,-lady /// lady-won’t-you-be-so-good-to-me? // bah-bee-doo-dlee-dah-bee-doo-dn-doo-boy

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