“Neighbors” rang some goofy musical memories a while ago when it recalled the old nonsense popular song “Mairzy Doats,” which began, “Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lambsy divy.”

That brought a letter from Drew Simels, Bronx, N.Y., who writes that he is 70, retired and sometimes travels to Fargo-Moorhead because he enjoys it around here. “I was there recently and unexpectedly found your piece” about that song, he says.

“I vaguely recall hearing a version of the song on the radio in my growing-up years,” Drew writes, adding that “I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, in Teaneck, N.J., which, in a couple of ways, seems comparable to Moorhead.

“When I returned to New York City, I Googled the song, and listened to a recording of it from the 1940s by the Pied Pipers, with Paul Weston and his orchestra, on Capitol Records.

“I also read an article about the song on Wikipedia. I figured out that the label ‘nonsense song’ is to be understood in a general way, i.e., in the sense that such a song like ‘Mairzy Doats’ was not created to be nonsensical.”

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

That’s because the “mairzy doats” lyrics actually are a cute way to sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy.”

Oh, and by the way, Drew writes that “Every time I visit Clay County and Cass County, I make sure I read The Forum.”

Thank you for doing that, Drew!

RELATED COLUMNS: A poem to prepare for autumn | What was the name of that old music store in downtown Fargo? | Good things are still happening, even during the pandemic | Memories of the twins who 'dominated' every basketball game in the 1940s | This ND club has changed a lot since forming in 1958

Another oldie

But speaking of old songs with funny lyrics, here’s one sent in by Dorothy Wrabek, Park Rapids, Minn. See if you remember this one, which was a hit record for the Andrews Sisters from Mound, Minn., and which begins:



Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool

Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too.

“Swim,” said the mama fishie; “swim if you can.”

And they swam and they swam all over the dam.



Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop-boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

And they swam and they swam all over the dam.



Ah yes, the wonderful romantic lyrics of these old songs…

ARCHIVE: Read more of Bob Lind's Neighbors columns

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com.