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Monday, May 14, 2007


Listen to Stubby Kaye!

You haven't heard of him? Have you seen Guys and Dolls? He's the guy playing Nicely Nicely Johnson - the fat chap with the dainty step of a cat and the vocal precision of a marksman. He was, in short, brilliant. One of those men who has the ability to turn a few seconds of walking into a dance, with tremendous wit and style. (No relation to Danny Kaye, incidentally - both WASPed their names, Danny from Kaminsky and Stubby from Kotzin.)

Anyway, I discovered a song I like from the musical L'il Abner - which I haven't seen, but I was noodling around looking for Stubby Kaye stuff, and behold! Here is a link to the complete lyrics, but I'll paste them below anyway (if anyone reading this has copyright objections let me know and I'll desist). That's the full lyrics, which I really rather like. And if you link here, you lucky people, you can hear two verses of Stubby Kaye singing it with his usual charm. The song is about Jubilation T. Cornpone, who, for the benefit of people who, like me, were prevented by their nationality from having heard of the comic strip L'il Abner, origin of the musical, is a Civil War general hailing from a small town called Dogpatch: he was rubbish, but the Dogpatch citizens celebrate him anyway because he's their only notable citizen. Which has considerable style, in its way.

Go Stubby Kaye!

The song:

When we fought the Yankees and annihilation was near,
Who was there to lead the charge that took us safe to the rear?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Toot your own horn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, a man who knew no fear!

When we almost had 'em but the issue still was in doubt,
Who suggested the retreat that turned it into a rout?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Tattered and torn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he kept us hidin' out!

With our ammunition gone and faced with utter defeat,
Who was it that burned the crops and left us nothing to eat?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "September Morn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, the pants blown off his seat!


When it seemed like our brave boys would keep on fighting for months,
Who took pity on them and ca-pit-u-lated at once?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Unshaven and shorn - pone.
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he weren't nobody's dunce!

Who went re-con-noiter-ing to flank the enemy's rear,
Circled through the piney woods, and disappeared for a year?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Treat 'em with scorn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, the missing mountaineer!

Who became so famous with a reputation so great,
That he ran for president and didn't carry a state?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Wouldn't be sworn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he made the country wait!

Stonewall Jackson got his name by standing firm in the fray.
Who was known to all his men as good ol' "Paper Mache?"
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he really saved the day!


Though he's gone to his reward, his mighty torch is still lit.
First in war. First in peace. First to holler, "I quit!"
Jubilation T. Cornpone;


Jubilation T. Cornpone, he really saved the day!


History says that General Grant was pretty good with a jug,
Who went drink for drink with him and wound up under the rug?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Passed out until morn - pone.
Jubilation T. Cornpone, his whiskers in his mug!

Hearing that a Northern spy had come to town for the night,
Who gained entrance to her room and lost the glorious fight?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Weary and worn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he fought all through the night!

There at Appomatox Lee and Grant were present, of course.
As Lee swept a tear away, who swept the back of his horse?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Jubilation T. Cornpone, a picture of remorse!

(Incidentally, I'm not romanticising the South: slavery is a bad idea. It's just a fun silly song.)

That link seems to have retreated.
Here's a you-tube link:
Great song. Here's one of my favourite abject-poverty-based musical numbers.

Eee! Thank you!
I've just realised he was also Marvin Acme in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Fantastic.
Thank-you! We have searched for the lyrics could not find them until NOW. Our friend has now shared the joy of Jubilation T. Cornpone.

from Nicki
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