|Real Lyric||I went to Chinatown
'way back in old Hong Kong
To get some Egg Foo Yung
And then I heard a gong
Ling Ting Tong tried to sing that song
Called Tie-ess-a mo-cum boo-die-ay
Tie-ess-a mo-cum boo
Ling Ting Tong, he would never be wrong
Go on and sing your song, a-Ling Ting Tong
And I looked around
The lights were going down
And this is what I found
A back in Chinatown
|Artist||The Five Keys (Click for more)|
|Song||Ling Ting Tong (Click for more)|
Was living in a friend's art studio in '84 w/ my girlfriend- was between apts. due to 'con dough conversion' -& would sneak in there at night, 11 PM EST, to crash on the furniture after getting back from the daily grind in NYC- didn't want the landlord or tenants in the building to know that 'unauthorised persons' were living in their basement, & my bud be painting all night with the radio on & we'd play like 'Radio Roulette' & spin the dial after the music or whatever it was got dull.
So like it was my turn to find something gOOd & I tuned it to WCBS-FM which was a NYC area 'oldies station' at that time, & this came on- now I never heard this as it came out like 1954/55 & was before my time as was born in '57 just short of the official start of the "Space Age".
Well we laughed sooo HARD because when the cat sings his fake 'Chinese' lyrics, they all re(e)fer to marijuana in 1950s 'hip' patois: 'Thai', as in 'Thai-sticks', premium buds of seedless marijuana which were skewered on stems, several rows of string found in the stalk of the marijuana plant were then used to tie the marijuana to the stem and therefore, keep it in place, now scarce if not impossible to find; 'Smoke' = Pot; 'Buddha' another euphemism; 'Boo', an ancient term going back to the 1930s.
Enhancing all this was the fact that we had some herbal remedy of our own at hand, so this was more profound y'know?
Well we thought that these '50s doo-wop guys, The Five KEYS were one up on the '60s like Peter, Paul, &n Mary w/ "Puff The Magic Dragon", or even the Beatles w/ "Lucy In The Sky...etc.", as this was being sung openly without any suspicion or allusion to anything as the 'Chinese' lyrics were gibberish anyway, and if only they would've known in the grey-flannel, button-down world of the '50s, right?
Even their name, "The Five KEYS", as in 'keys' meaning kilograms, it's ALL there...
Years later in 1998, I heard another version by Bill Haley and the Comets recorded in 1968 w/ a different refrain, "Hi-Smokeum-Boom-Bah-Yay" & "Bing-Bang-Bong", as well as P. J. Proby's but they all deviate from the established lyric.
What gives? I still dunno...
Your guess is as good- no, BETTER -than mine;)
|Submitted on||9/25/2009 12:56 pm|
|Age it happened||40|
|Better than original?||No|
|Convinced others you were right?||Yes|
|Was partying involved?||No|