Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great Green Gobs Of... Oh, You Know

It may not be all that well-known in the current day and age, but when I was a kid, everybody knew the song that started with the immortal words "great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts" because it's, and I'm sure you'll agree, one of the best songs ever written. When a friend asked me the other day what the words were, I was surprised to discover that the lyrics I had grown up with were not the same that he remembered from his own childhood. Turns out, there's quite a few different versions of this thing.

The earliest recording can be traced back to 1959, from an album called The Sounds of Camp. This was added to the Smithsonian compilation A Fish That's a Song. No copyright or author credit is given on the Smithsonian release, and to this day, the song remains an anonymous piece. It does seem obvious that the work started as a kind of American folk song in summer camps, but this is speculation based on the information available. The disgusting tune was a hit anyway, and millions of kids began changing the lyrics to make it even more disgusting and entertaining.

The idea is simple enough: just combine body parts, dead animals, and other unsavory things and make it fit the beat. I first heard the song in a collection entitled Spooky Tunes! (which is the book I was trying to remember back in my very first post). Although the first line is always the same, each version adds different phrases to the chorus, and sometimes a different ending line as well. The version I'm familiar with is called "Spooky Stew" and features this first stanza:

Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Scabs, scratches bumps and cuts
Yuck it sounds disgusting but
Just throw them in your musty rusty crusty pot and
BOO! It's spooky stew

You can view several variations on the song's Wikipedia page. Yes, Great Green Gobs has a Wikipedia page. Gotta love the internet. It's a gross song, sure, but man does it give me fond memories of my junior high years. Next time someone asks you what you'd like for dinner, start belting this little ditty and see how they react.

1 comment:

  1. I was born in 1956, so this version would be from the early 1960's, and the tune used was the same as that song "The Old Grey Mare (she ain't what she used to be.)"

    First you take a couple of
    greasy grimey gopher guts
    French fried parakeet
    Marinated smelly feet
    then you take a helping of
    mashed up beatle brains
    swimming in eye ball soup.