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David High: If you know who put the bomp in, send me an email

David High
David High

I still want to know who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp.

Sha Na Na posed the question back in the 1950s with their song “Who Put the Bop in the Bop-She-Bop?”

Whatever happened to those simply written, wonderful rock lyrics of the late 1950s and early ‘60s — the "oldies but goodies" songs we use to hear? I know the generations before me and the generations after couldn’t care less, but I personally miss those playful lyrics: Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B.Goode,” “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets, and Little Richard’s “Tutti-Frutti” are all classic rock songs.

Some lyrics, however, were mysterious or confusing. I say mysterious because a few were incomprehensible, like Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife.” Great song by an amazing singer, but don’t try to figure out the lyrics. All I could understand was “The line forms on the right, babe” — but who in the world are Sukey Tawdry, Lotte Lenya and Ol’ Lucy Brown?

And then there was Neil Diamond’s “I Am… I Said,” in which he sings, "I am, I said. To no one there. And no one heard at all. Not even the chair.” Unless you have some unusually intelligent furniture, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It isn’t that difficult to find words that rhyme with there. How about anywhere, unaware, Yogi Bear or nose hair?

I won’t even get into “Cracklin’ Rosie get on board we’re gonna ride till there ain’t no more to go.” My English teacher would turn over in her grave at that sentence.  

So, we can clearly see that music is a matter of personal taste.

One person may love Bobby Goldsboro and the next person may hate him. It doesn’t mean that one song or singer is good and another isn’t. It just means that if you like Bobby Goldsboro, you’re wrong.   

The songs with simple lyrics and a great beat are my favorites. Songs like “Respect” by Aretha Franklin and “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers.

If you do a lot of singing in your car like I do, you can really get into tunes like “Twist and Shout.” Singing at the top of your lungs and bouncing around at a stop light until you realize that the tow truck driver three feet to your left is watching you. You immediately pretend that you have a bad cough until you can pull away when the light changes.

“You know you twist your little girl, (twist, little girl)

You know you twist so fine. (twist so fine)

Come on and twist a little closer, now, (twist a little closer)

And let me know that you're mine. (let me know you're mine).”

Let Lady Gaga or the Foo Fighters just try to match that. They don’t write them like that anymore.   

If I could just find out “Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?” I might also find out “Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?” and even more importantly, “Who put the dip, in the dip da dip da dip?”

Until then I’ll just be “Sittin’ in mah yah yah waitin for mah lala, uh-huh.”