Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Niki Hoeky: get hip to the cogitation, ASSHOLES!

Way down Louisiana
Down in Cajun land
Folks got something goin'
Goes something like
Care folk a-t-tootsie

I wants to t'tie ya puppe'tame me
Dim ya on a scoobydoo
I dig you on'a scuba-die
I oh boo-ga-foo you
You ooh boog-a-boo you, little girl
Get hip to the cogitation of the boolawee

Golly, squally miss Molly
Everything's copesetic now
Loog-a-boo, look at you
What I'd like to do to you girl
You woka-b-boo-you
You oh boog-a-boo you, little girl
Get hip to the cogitation of the boolawee

Niki, Niki, Niki Hoeky
Pappy's doing time in the pokey
Your sister's on a trip
Your momma got hip
Little girl you're lookin' ok
You ooh boog-a-boo you
You ooh boog-a-boo you
Get hip to the cogitation of the boolawee

(musical interlude with humming)

You oh boo-ka-boo you
You oh boo-ka-boo you, little girl
Get hip to the cogitation of the boolawee

Listen to me now
Niki, Niki, Niki Hoeky
Your pappy's doing time in the pokey
Your sister's on a trip
Your momma got hip
Little girl you're lookin' ok
You oh boog-a-boo you
You oh boog-a-foo you, little girl
Get hip to the cogitation of the boolawee

I talk about you boo-la
Come on I talk about you wisssh.
I talk about you boo-la
Talk about you wisssh.

NOTE. I sort of get this. And I'm sort of upset about it. It's the usual thing. When I try to find the lyrics to any popular song, then compare it to the actual (recorded) song, the internet version is always wildly wrong.

Well, no. Lamely wrong. The most unimaginitive reduction of a spicy pun into a plodding non-metaphor, because, gee, we just don't GET what he was trying to say here! It doesn't make sense, see. So this is sort of what he might of/ought to have said.

The weird thing is, these mondegreens (misheard lyrics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondegreen) are exactly the same on every lyric site. They do not come from the original, published sheet music. They can't. Someone listens to the song and transcribes it and writes down what they think it might be. If it doesn't make sense to them, they make something up.

This dulls down the brilliance or at least the spark of the original song, irons out any irony and removes all those pesky puns.

How this-all started was with something I saw on Facebook - I barely pay attention on Facebook any more, it's like filing my nails or eating a Popsicle, just something to do. It was a post that was sort of  like "do you like new ideas? Do you love baking, walking dogs, picking your nose?" It was supposed to be a satiric take on those old ads to recruit dazzling original thinkers. A line jumped into my head, something I had not thought about since I was thirteen years old:

Get hip to the cogitation.

It came from a song, of course. From way back. But I could only remember bits of it, and not the title.

I followed it backwards by googling just that line, and got nothing at first. Then I added "your father's doing time in the pokey." Slowly it began to resolve into a recognizable song.

I found the lyrics on umpteen lyric sites, in fact, and they all said the same thing.

Niki, niki, niki, hoeky. Pappy's doing time in the pokey. Your mama died hip, your sister's on a trip.

Etc. etc., then the line:

Get hip to the CONSULTATION.

I couldn't believe it was consultation. Had I been wrong all those years? I found the original recording by P. J. Proby on YouTube, and listened for it.




NO, the word was not, never was, never would be, no matter WHO recorded it (and a lot of people did after P. J. Proby), "consultation". Though it was hard to make out, there was no "s" sound anywhere in the word. It was repeated several times. It was "cogitation". It was, and it is.

So why  -

Every site you go on will say the same thing. Consultation. These things multiply, they divide, they seethe like gunky slimy pools of frog's eggs. Identical, WRONG tadpoles hatch out and turn into WRONG frogs who then lay the WRONG eggs.


All I can think of is that someone mondegreened the lyrics decades ago, then they somehow got glommed on to everyone's lyric site so that they would all be wrong in exactly the same (obnoxious, insulting, STUPID) way.

But we fixed it, I think. Not that anybody cares! The transcribed lyric for this was just so riddled with mistakes that I had to go over it line by line, playing the recording 8 or 9 times to make "corrections" to some sort of unintelligible patios, and then giving up.

I can't find anything about the provenance of this song. I can't, and I don't want to look at it any more. These could be Cajun-isms, they could, because Cajun is a language unto itself, but if it were Cajun I think I'd see more French mixed in with it. It's not unlike Acadian, the Canadian version, and at one point Cajuns and Acadians were one people. One went north, one went south, one went over the cuckoo's nest.

But I happen to know - I'd stake my very life on it - that no one has ever been hip to the CONSULTATION. That idea is now gasping its last breath while it writhes in the dust.

POST-BLOG COGITATION (NOT consultation), or at least a comparison. I tried to find an "authentic Cajun song", that is, without knocking my brains out, and thought of Doug Kershaw, who really was (is?) Cajun and had a few hits. I don't remember much about those songs, so googled the lyrics for the best-known one, looking for either French or the sort of gibberish that appeared in Niki Niki Hoeky.

Diggy Diggy La and Diggy Diggy Lo
Fell in love at the Fais Do Do
The pop was cold and the coffee chaud
For Diggy Diggy La and Diggy Diggy Lo

Diggy Diggy La and Diggy Diggy Lo
Everyone knows he was her beau
No other girl could ever show
So much love for Diggy Diggy Lo

That's the place they find romance
Where they do the Cajun dance
Steal a kiss with every chance
Show their love with every glance

Ah, yeah, no, I don't see any. The only "Cajunisms" are Fais Do Do (which is literally translated, if I remember my Grade 7 French, as "go to sleep"), "chaud" to rhyme with "do do", and "pop", the Canadian version of "soda". This might have some dim, far-gone Acadian origin, but I doubt it because there was no pop back in 1743.

Not much frazzlin' Cajun spice THERE, is there, boys and girls?

So on to that other one, the one Hank Williams did:

Well, goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
Me gotta go to pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
I am a son of a gun, we gonna have big fun on the bayou

Yeah, jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
'Cause tonight, I'm gonna see my ma cher amio
You pick guitar, you fill fruit jar and be gay-o
'Cause I am a son of a gun, we gonna have big fun on the bayou

Well, Thibadaux, well, Fontaineaux, the place is buzzin'
And kinfolks come to see Yvonne by the dozen
You dress in style, you go hog wild and be gay-o
'Cause I am a son of a gun, we gonna have big fun on the bayou

It's a little bit Cajun/Acadian. "Pole the pirogue" sounds like some Polish guy eating perogies, but then I could have my ethnicity wrong. More likely, it refers to a sort of pole barge, like a gondola. Yvonne, yeah, she's French. File gumbo, cher amio, all the other family names - and that's about it, no fancy stuff, no verbal yodelling or Golly, squally, miss Molly. So maybe Niki Hoeky is just a sort of nonsense rhyme, the sort of thing we clapped to in school, the cum-la, cum-la, cum-la feast-a that I was astonished to find on YouTube.

P. S. There are even more versions. I just found out. Burton Cummings pronounces it "condensation", whereas various Motown versions sound more like "conversation", and I've also heard "consolation". But NOBODY says "consultation".

(next day) OH WAIT! There's more.

Another contender for this mystery word is "conflagration", a supposed reference to lighting a joint. So now we've got it down to SIX choices, one of which is definitely wrong:

(and, the ever-wrong) Consultation

Pick one. You might as well do it blindfolded. But when I hear it, I STILL hear "cogitation".


  1. My eleven-year-old self, perhaps aided by the cheesy tiny speakers on transistor radios of the time, thought PJ was singing "you old booger fool, you" and "get hip to the constipation", but was never sure enough to risk singing along, so no comeuppance story with howls of laughter to post on KissThisGuy.com. :(

  2. None of them make sense anyway, except maybe conversation (and consultation?). So, why not constipation. This song got so popular that there were lots of covers of it, but now it just sounds odd. And whatever happened to P. J. Proby?