Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Forbidden Zone in Color: 'Alphabet Song'

"Swinging the Alphabet" is a novelty song sung by The Three Stooges in their 1938 film, Violent Is the Word for Curly. It is the only full-length song performed by the Stooges in their short films, and the only time they mimed to their own pre-recorded soundtrack.
In 2005, film historian Richard Finegan identified the composer of the song as Septimus Winner (1827-1902), who had originally published it in 1875 as "The Spelling Bee".


Colorized screen shot of the Three Stoogesmiming their own pre-recorded soundtrack ofSwinging the Alphabet.
B-A-bay, B-E-bee, B-I-bicky-bi, B-O bo, bicky-bi bo, B-U bu, bicky bi bo bu.
C-A-cay, C-E-cee, C-I-cicky-ci, C-O co, cicky-ci co, C-U cu, cicky ci co cu.
D-A-day, D-E-dee, D-I-dicky-di, D-O do, dicky-di do, D-U du, dicky di do du.
F-A-fay, F-E-fee, F-I-ficky-fi, F-O fo, Ficky-fi fo, F-U fu, ficky fi fo fu.
G-A-gay, G-E-gee, G-I-gicky-gi, G-O go, Gicky-gi go, G-U gu, gicky gi go gu.
(Dah-Dah-dah-dah )
H-A-hay, H-E-hee, H-I-hicky-hi, H-O ho, hicky-hi ho, H-U hu, hicky hi ho hu.
J-A-jay, J-E-jee, J-I-jicky-ji, J-O jo, Jicky-ji jo, J-U ju, jicky ji jo ju
K-A-kay, K-E-kee, K-I-kicky-ki, K-O ko, Kicky-ki ko, K-U ku, kicky ki ko ku.
L-A-lay, L-E-lee, L-I-licky-li, L-O lo, Licky-li lo, L-U lu, licky li lo lu. (Curly's a dope)
M-A-may, M-E-mee, M-I-micky-mi, M-O mo, Micky-mi mo, M-U mu, micky mi mo mu.
In the 1959 re-recording of the The Alphabet Song/Swinging The Alphabet With Moe, Larry and Curly Joe the letters "G", "J", "M" and the lyrics "Curly's a dope" were omitted and seven new lyrics featuring the letters "N" (N-A-nay, N-E-nee, N-I-nicky-ni, N-O-no, Nicky-ni no, N-U-nu, Nicky ni no nu), "P" (P-A-pay, P-E-pee, P-I-picky-pi, P-O-po, Picky-pi po, P-U-pu, picky pi po pu) "R" (R-A-ray, R-E-ree, R-I-ricky-ri, R-O-ro, Ricky-ri-ro, R-U-ru, ricky ri ro ru), "S" (S-A-say, S-E-see, S-I-sicky-si, S-O-so, Sicky-si-so, S-U-su, sicky si so su), "T" (T-A-tay T-E-tee, T-I-ticky-ti, T-O-to, Ticky-ti-to, T-U-tu, ticky ti to tu), "V" (V-A-vay, V-E-vee, V-I-vicky-vi, V-O-vo, Vicky-vi-vo, V-U-vu, vicky vi vo vu), and "Z" (Z-A-zay, Z-E-zee, Z-I-zicky-zi, Z-O-zo, Zicky-zi-zo, Z-U-zu, zicky zi zo zu) were added to the song.

Original Lyrics[edit]

The original lyrics of Septimus Winner's "Spelling Bee" (aka "Ba Be Bi Bo Bu") were slightly different:
B-A bA; B-E bE; B-I, bA-bE-bI; B-O bO, bA-bE-bI-bO; B-U bu, bA-bE-bI-bO-bu.[1]