Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Ol' Dipsy Doodle

Every grandparent uses old-timey expressions, and everyone who spends time with their grandparents inevitably picks up some of those expressions and carries them forward through the ages as sort of a rhetorical time capsule.  One of my grandpa's favourite turns of phrase was "the ol' dipsy doodle," which was basically his go-to term for any kind of tricky reversal. 

If, for instance, someone made a big comeback in a family game of rummoli, they didn't just turn the tables on the opponents --- they pulled the ol' dipsy-doodle on them!  And then a fistfight usually broke out, since my family took games night pretty serious.  My grandma throws a mean right hook.

Perhaps with my brain was jarred from my grandma's punch, but for some reason, it took me until 2019 to actually look up "dipsy doodle" and, lo and behold, it was a hit song from the 40's?!

Tommy Dorsey was the first to perform it, and it was a hit for both the Andrews Sisters and Ella Fitzgerald within the next few years.  So the next time you complain about too many covers or too much sampling in today's pop music, don't forget that back in that day, it wasn't uncommon for the exact same song (maybe with a different arrangement) to be re-released several times within a few years' time.

If I had to guess where my grandpa really adopted the term, it was probably from an old Andy Griffith Show episode, as Otis the town drunk apparently used to sing it over and over.  So this must be where I inherited my habit of having 50% of everything I say come from TV and movie dialogue.

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