Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day.
Sort of like the San Andreas Fault in California, a crack surfaced this week in my knowledge of popular culture. All I can say is it’s good to learn something new each day. Even when that something new is really kind of old: Oo-De-Lally, a song written and performed by Roger Miller, who voiced the character, Alan-A-Dale, the rooster minstrel/narrator in Robin Hood, the 1973 animated film by Walt Disney Studios.
This knowledge gap surfaced the other night when Janet, my girlfriend, made a reference to the movie, started singing the song and seemed somewhat surprised by the blank look on my face staring back at her. (And, really, she should know better by now.)
But how this gap happened is difficult to explain because I’m a lifetime fan of country music, which means I’m familiar with Miller’s King of the Road, Dang Me and Chug-a-lug. Years ago, a co-worker and I sang this in the newsroom of the Ottumwa Courier to a colleague who had never heard of it.
I’m even familiar with Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the 1984 Broadway musical for which Miller wrote the music and lyrics and won a Tony Award. River In The Rain is probably the most memorable song from the show, but I’ve always been fond of this, which was performed on Broadway by John Goodman, who played the role of Pap Finn. It’s a song that’s just as appropriate today as it was 30 years ago — or would have been in 1884, when Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
But Oo-De-Lally managed to escape me. I’d like to say it’s because Robin Hood was released five days after my seventh birthday. And I grew up in a small town that had one movie theater, which only had one screen. It’s possible Robin Hood didn’t play in Chariton or that my parents didn’t take us. After all, in November 1973, my mom was running after four kids who were 7, 6, 4 and 1. Movies weren’t a priority.
This may excuse my mom. But Janet isn’t likely to let me off the hook so easily since I could have rented Robin Hood at some point in the past 40 years and never did. Heck, Oo-De-Lally was even used earlier this year in a commercial for Android — and I managed to miss that. Maybe if it had been used for an iPhone commercial …
Or maybe I just need to get out more.
Let’s finish up today with an observation that has me feeling a bit like Andy Rooney, the longtime commentator on the CBS News program, 60 Minutes, who died in 2011 at age 92.
Have you ever wondered why it is, when one light bulb burns out, it seems as if they all go out at the same time and you wind up having to replace every one of them in the entire house?