Welcome to the first edition of a new Special Feature known as Saluting Silly Songs. And I know what you’re thinking — why in the world is this goofus adding another Special Feature to the GMC? Doesn’t he have more than enough of them already?
Truthfully, I sort of surprised myself too, but it actually makes a lot of sense. For one thing, the Diamonds in the Rough feature has reached the point where I probably won’t be adding to it. That leaves an opening to fill, and silly songs make everybody smile so what could be better? In fact, they’ve already been the subject of some very popular previous posts on the GMC, so I’ve also corralled those and added them to the new Saluting Silly Songs link in the left column.
Today’s featured song is sometimes given the extended title “The Hut-Sut-Song (a Swedish Serenade)” and that gives a clue to its supposed origin. Written by Leo V. Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens, the song first appeared in 1941 and was said to be based on a Swedish folk song about a boy who skipped school and met a girl by a stream. That’s probably an oversimplification, but it’s not a particularly complicated song. Still, the lyrics were certainly unusual and sounded exotic to listeners, and it soon became a quirky hit.
‘Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah and a brawla, brawla sooit. . .’
The first and most popular recording was by Horace Heidt and his orchestra, but it was soon being recorded by everybody from Mel Tormé to Spike Jones, the master of silly songs. It was also performed in a short comedy film by the King’s Men (video below), a quartet that included Ken Darby, who would have a long career as a singer, composer and conductor.
As is often the case with silly songs, it has continued to pop up through the years in various places, including the soundtracks of movies about the era. It has even appeared on the Muppets TV show, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Mel Tormé – “The Hut-Sut Song”
2 thoughts on “Saluting Silly Songs – A New Special Feature”
It’s a little surprising that someone of the stature and quality as Mel Tormé recorded such a silly song. Of course, he makes it sound like scat singing.
Sorry I haven’t commented for a while I’ve been away for a couple of months (San Francisco and Portland, Oregon), pretty much ignoring the internet. Just catching up now.
Good to have you back, Peter. Sounds like you’ve been well occupied – wish I was in your shoes. (Travel-wise, at least.) As for Mel, I hadn’t thought of the scat angle but I have to agree that it is reminiscent of the art. And as we both know, he was just doing what singers in every era do — cover the pop songs of their day. It was also recorded by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and several others.