The lyrics shown here space the original lyrics to the song, as penned through Billy Hill. Calloway popularized this track as component of a 1933 Fleischer Studios Betty Boop cartoon which… check out More 




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With his lengthy white beard and also a crooked staffHe tramps along while the folks all laugh;With a twinkle in his eye, he passes them by;The Old man of the MountainHe wears long hair and also his feet are bare;They to speak he's mad as an old march hareBut his cares room none, he owes no oneThe Old male of the MountainHe talks with the birds once he's lonely;He sleeps with the stars because that a tentThe bees spread out a feast as soon as he's hungryAnd God dues no rentHe'll live as long as one old oak treeAnd laugh at fools choose you and meOh, I frequently sigh and also wish that IWere the Old male of the Mountain
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The lyrics presented here are the initial lyrics to the song, as penned by Billy Hill. Calloway popularized this track as part of a 1933 Fleischer Studios Betty Boop cartoon which the collaborated on and also voiced, and rewriting the text to portray the titular Old male of the hill as predatorial. Those lyrics have the right to be seen below instead.

‘The Old man of the Mountain’ was formerly performed through The Mills Brothers and Boswell Sisters, attach by Victor Young and also His Orchestra. However, Cab Calloway popularized it, performing the tune for a Betty Boop cartoon the the exact same name, command by Dave Fleischer. Calloway had actually been cultivation in fame for years before this, in component due come his residency in ~ the cotton Club in Harlem. Calloway’s contributions to the Betty Boop cartoons (including the most famous, Minnie the Moocher) ended up being wildly popular, and also Calloway became known as the “hi de ho man,” called after his now famed call-and-response scatting.

The song itself provides AABA form, a very common technique of the time. The original lyrics were much more comical and endearing, paint the titular Old male as funny and free. The lyrics display a particular admiration in the direction of this odd character, finishing with “ wish that i were the Old male of the Mountain.” The lyrics were changed to right the plot the the Betty Boop cartoon. In this, the Old guy is a predator the chases Betty Boop, therefore they changed some that the much more comical currently to make them menacing. The last heat was readjusted to, “I often sigh and jump and cry at the Old man of the Mountain.”

In both versions, however, the music is equal components silly and menacing, although Calloway’s version is slower and much more swinging. Much of the Betty Boop brief features Calloway’s scat singing, a technique which the learned indigenous Louis Armstrong. Calloway also danced because that the animators the the cartoon, who then rotoscoped their animations come his run moves.

“Oogie Boogie’s Song” native The Nightmare before Christmas duplicates a couple of key facets from this song and also the cartoon, choose the music style, and also the conversation lines “What are you going come do? / i’m gonna do the best I can.”