Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 02-07-2000, 03:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
"Coo coo ca-choo"-Where does it come from?

aha-

No, I am certain that it is a literary reference, to which both Paul Simon and Paul McCartney were referring. Just trying to find the source...

BTW, didn't "Mrs. Robinson" come before "I Am the Walrus"? (Which is a Lennon song, not McCartney, unless I am mistaken.)
#2
Old 02-07-2000, 03:23 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 377
I must make a correction: in "I am the Walrus" the phrase is printed on the lyrics sheet as "GOO GOO GA JOOB." However, in "Mrs. Robinson" itreally sounds more like "coo coo ca choo."

Do with that what you will.

------------------
Sucks to your assmar.
#3
Old 02-07-2000, 04:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,864
I'm pretty sure that the phrase "Goo-goo-Ga-Joob" comes from James Joyce. Probably Finnigan's Wake or Ulysses.

Fenris
#4
Old 02-07-2000, 04:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
Fenris--

OK, your homework assignment is to look it up, and see if you can find the phrase in Joyce. (Ideally, give us a quote from the book, to provide some context.)

"Coo coo ca-choo" sure sounds like a literary sneeze to me.

#5
Old 02-07-2000, 04:41 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,699
Actually, the song "Mrs Robinson," while being in "The Graduate," was written some time before there the movie and had a different title.

The song was actually a thinly-veiled look at someone in an insane asylum.

"We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files."

"Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home."

"It's a little secret, just the Robinsons' affair."

Read the words. You'll see.

And "Coo-coo ka-choo," is a reference that the person is "cuckoo."
#6
Old 02-07-2000, 05:33 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,583
An asylum? Funny, I always pictured Mrs. R's first day in heaven.The line "Heaven holds a place for those who pray" probably influenced my imagery.


------------------
AskNott
#7
Old 02-07-2000, 05:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
OK, this is getting "curiouser and curiouser."

I have visited several Beatles fans' web sites, and every one of them that tackles the "goo goo ga joob" mystery says that those were the last words of Humpty Dumpty. This at least proves that I didn't concoct the whole idea in my imagination.

Still, another review of Through the Looking Glass shows that old Humpty just didn't say that. Is there another source of Humpty Dumpty info that I'm missing? (Other than the original nursery rhyme, which of course says nothing about "goo goo ga joob" or "coo coo ca-choo".)

Mjollnir wrote

Quote:
And "Coo-coo ka-choo," is a reference that the person is "cuckoo."
Do you have a source for this assertion, Mjollnir (say, an interview with Simon), or is it your own interpretation? I don't think Paul Simon invented this phrase, any more than John Lennon did. (And frankly, I don't think Lennon included the phrase in "I Am the Walrus" as an Homage to Paul Simon.) I believe they are both referring to an earlier literary source.

Help, O Teeming Millions!
#8
Old 02-07-2000, 06:49 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 2,693
"GOO GOO GA JOOB" led to nothing new in 6 searches.All were just the Walrus lyrics, except one was cover of it and one hit was in a game called Heretic.
#9
Old 02-07-2000, 07:14 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 11,938
Humpty Dumpty was a seige-tower repelled from the walls of Dunbar Castle by "Black Agnes", wife of the Earl of Dunbar in 1339. It fell away from the palisade and into the marshy moat. The army attacking the castle was unable to recover it.
#10
Old 02-07-2000, 07:17 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
Here's a site on Joyce's influence on music, which makes a reference to "I am the Walrus". However, the site seems to say that "Goo Goo Ga Joob" is not in Finnegan's Wake. (Scroll way down for the reference.)
http://rpg.net/quail/libyrinth/j...usic.main.html

Where does this idea come from that "goo goo ga joob" or "coo coo ca-choo" or "koo koo ca-choo" or (insert your spelling here) was the last utterance of Humpty Dumpty? Does Humpty Dumpty appear at all in Finnegan's Wake?

We may have to call in Cecil to get to the bottom of this one...
#11
Old 02-07-2000, 07:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Springfield
Posts: 1,190
I can add this much:

In the song "I want to be loved by you" the phrase coo-coo-ca-choo appears.
I want to be loved by you
By you, and nobody else but you
I want to be loved by you aloooooooone
Coo-coo-ca-choo


This song goes back at least to the forties, and far predates "The Graduate" and Paul Simon. Sinead O'Connor did a version of that song on an anthology I own, but the song itself is pretty old. Come to think of it, I seem to recall Beety Boop singing it in an old b&w cartoon strip somewhere..... Maybe it's as old as the thirties.

At any rate, how the hell would a line from Finnegan's Wake end up in a Betty Boop song?
#12
Old 02-07-2000, 07:20 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Radford, VA
Posts: 2,386
I was the one that mentioned the Finnegan's Wake reference in the previous thread, though I forgot to mention the words DO have the same meaning you mentioned (i.e., they were Humpty Dumpty's last words). I heard this in the book "The Beatles Forever" by Nicholas Schaffner:

Quote:
...As a matter of fact, one erudite Beatlemaniac detected a clue in "I Am the Walrus"'s "goo goo goo joob" chorus; in "Finnegan's Wake" these are Humpty Dumpty's last words before he takes a fall and cracks his head.
"Clue" referring, of course, to yet another "Paul is Dead" clue. In the past I have unsuccessfully flipped through Finnegan's Wake trying to find this passage; though I did find one or more passages involving Humpty Dumpty, I never actually found this quote from him, so I'm still uncertain if this is the origin of the chorus.
#13
Old 02-07-2000, 07:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
APB9999-

Unless I'm mistaken, the phrase in "I Want to be Loved By You" is "Boop boop be doop", not "coo coo ca-choo". Pretty sure on this one, but I will accept correction if I am wrong.
#14
Old 02-07-2000, 08:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Springfield
Posts: 1,190
Ooops! I think you're right. I'm an idiot. My memory was feeding it to me as "Coo-coo-ca-choo". Stupid brain. That's it, I'm punishing you with alcohol as soon as I get home!
#15
Old 02-07-2000, 08:41 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,466
Could be a version of "coochie-coochie", said when you tickle a baby.

Or; it could just be a nonsense sound for use in a song. Like "da-do-ron-ron" or "shoobie-doobie". WAGs.
#16
Old 02-07-2000, 09:23 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Berkeley, CA, US
Posts: 1,232
Anh. Some toddler allergic to doves started it all.

Ray (My litter atchour request)
#17
Old 02-08-2000, 01:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
In the earlier "Mrs. Robinson" thread, I stated that I thought the phrase "coo coo ca-choo" in the song was a reference to the noise made by Humpty Dumpty as he sneezed, just before falling off the wall in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

I could have sworn that was right (one of those pesky "false memories"), but my assertion was challenged by another poster. To be certain, I went home and looked it up. Sure enough, I couldn't find the phrase in either Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass.

The phrase also appears in the Beatles song "I Am the Walrus". (Though the spelling may be different.) "I am the Egg Man; I am the Egg Man; I am the Walrus! Coo coo ca-choo..."
(Incidentally, "I am the Walrus" does appear to be a Through the Looking Glass reference. Maybe that's where I got the idea about "coo coo ca-choo".)

It was also suggested in the earlier thread that the phrase might be from Finnegan's Wake.

There was also some debate about the proper spelling of the phrase. Some spelled it with 'k's some with 'c's and some with 'g's. ("Goo goo g'choob"???)

So can any of the teeming millions out there tell me where this phrase does come from? If so, can you give us a cite? (Wild conjecture also welcomed!)

------------------
"Every time you think, you weaken the nation!" --M. Howard (addressing his brother, C. Howard).
#18
Old 02-08-2000, 01:39 AM
aha aha is offline
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Third planet from the sun
Posts: 2,371
I aussmed it came from paul mcCartney in I am the walrus..

------------------
"I think it speaks to the duality of man sir."
(private Joker in Full Metal Jacket)
#19
Old 02-08-2000, 09:29 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
Everybody's a comedian!

This Humpty Dumpty thing is starting to look like it has no basis in fact. I am beginning to think it was spawned as a half-remembered (incorrectly-remembered) passage from Finnegans Wake or Through the Looking Glass floating through the head of some cannabis-addled Beatlemaniac wondering who killed Paul. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

Johnny L.A.-

Good point on the "coochie coochie coo" possibility. That angle hadn't occurred to me.

------------------
"Every time you think, you weaken the nation!" --M. Howard (addressing his brother, C. Howard).
#20
Old 02-08-2000, 09:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,864
Mjollnir wrote
Quote:
Actually, the song "Mrs Robinson," while being in "The Graduate," was written some time before there the movie and had a different title.
The song was actually a thinly-veiled look at someone in an insane asylum.
Couple of points:
#1) The song was always titled "Mrs. Robinson", but you're right that it was around long before "The Graduate". It first appeared (I believe) on the "Bookends" album.

#2) I always thought that it was an drug/alcohol-rehab facility, like The Betty Ford Center. The lines about "Hide it in little hiding place where no one ever goes. Put it in the pantry with your cupcakes" sounds to me like a problem drinker with secret stashes of booze.

Fenris
#21
Old 02-08-2000, 10:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,864
Spoke wrote
Quote:
This Humpty Dumpty thing is starting to look like it has no basis in fact. I am beginning to think it was spawned as a half-remembered (incorrectly-remembered) passage from Finnegans Wake or Through the Looking Glass floating through the head of some cannabis-addled Beatlemaniac wondering who killed Paul. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)
On that site you found (the "Joyce in Music" one at http://rpg.net/quail/libyrinth/j...usic.main.html )

The page writer says
Quote:
According to Gregg Zion, John Lennon was a Joyce fan, and took "Humpty Dumpty's last words" from Finnegans Wake and put them into "I Am The Walrus" as "goo goo goo joob." I have not been able to confirm this yet, and the closest I can find is "goo goo goosth" from FW 557.7.
To me, "Goo Goo Goosth" is close enough to "Goo Goo G'joob" that I'm satisfied that this was Lennon's inspiration.

Fenris
#22
Old 02-08-2000, 10:41 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pit of the Peach State
Posts: 17,906
Fenris

The problem with that "goo goo goosth" explanation is that the particular passage in question doesn't have anything to do with Humpty Dumpty, which means that Gregg Zion was wrong on that point. This leads me to question how trustworthy he is on his basic assertion that Lennon was inspired by Finnegans Wake at all.

The other problem I have is that the similarity between "goo goo ga joob" and "coo coo ca-choo" leads me to believe that they are variations on the same phrase, and that they have a common source. Somebody give Paul Simon a call, and let's get this mess straightened out once and for all...



------------------
"Every time you think, you weaken the nation!" --M. Howard (addressing his brother, C. Howard).
#23
Old 02-08-2000, 11:30 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 377
I'm not really sure that "GGGJ" and "CCCC" are related at all. They have the same rhythm, and that very well might be it.
Plus, if you were to play that same rhythm on, say, a trumpet, and then add a cymbal crash at the end, it sounds a lot like something that might have been played at the end of a variety show clown sketch.

Did I make any sense just there?

------------------
Sucks to your assmar.
#24
Old 02-10-2000, 11:34 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,699
Here's another possibility:

Lennon was a big Edward Lear fan, and it's possible that it could have been from one of his poems.

I've been leafing thru my Lear, and will post back if anything turns up.

BTW, "coo coo ca-chew" does sound like something that Lear would have in a poem--just don't know that he did.
#25
Old 11-05-2013, 09:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
I just read in an interview with Paul McCartney that when they used to say it, it meant f**k off. I saw it in a magazine in Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago. Now, that doesn't address the origin, but it gives some insight.
#26
Old 11-05-2013, 10:21 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 12,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaibatsu View Post
I just read in an interview with Paul McCartney that when they used to say it, it meant f**k off. I saw it in a magazine in Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago. Now, that doesn't address the origin, but it gives some insight.
More likely it was McCartney's way of telling the interviewer to fuck off, and stop pestering him about the meaning of a nonsense song written 45 years ago by somebody else.

In the context of I am the Walrus", the notion that "Goo go bajoob" is code or slang for "fuck off" makes no sense, and, furthermore, it does not seem a very plausible as a substitute for "fuck off" inany context. Certainly I have never heard or heard of the expression being used this way, and I was around at the time the song came out.

I think both "goo goo bajoob" and "coo coo cachoo" are just scat nonsense phrases, like "hey nonny nonny" or "lalalala".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
To me, "Goo Goo Goosth" is close enough to "Goo Goo G'joob" that I'm satisfied that this was Lennon's inspiration.

Fenris
Or, you know, maybe he just made it up by himself.

Last edited by njtt; 11-05-2013 at 10:24 PM.
#27
Old 11-05-2013, 10:24 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 27,889
Welcome to the SDMB, Zaibatsu!
#28
Old 11-05-2013, 10:42 PM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
Mjollnir wrote

Couple of points:
#1) The song was always titled "Mrs. Robinson", but you're right that it was around long before "The Graduate". It first appeared (I believe) on the "Bookends" album.
No, the Graduate soundtrack album came first - January 1968. The Mrs. Robinson single and Bookends album came in April. Supposedly Paul Simon repurposed a half-finished song called Mrs. Roosevelt when the movie was due to come out and he hadn't come up with the material he promised. I don't know if he knew anything about the Mrs. Robinson character - if not it might explain why the lyrics don't seem to have much to do with the film other than a general scourging of an unpleasant woman.

Yes, the Beatles song came first, on a 45 where the way John sings it sounds like "coo coo ca-choo", and I would guess Paul Simon liked the rhythm of it and found a place for it in his hastily scribbled song. (When the Walrus lyrics were printed in the Magical Mystery Tour sleeve, it was rendered as GOO GOO GOO JOOB but who knows if that was Beatle-intended or some transcriber's fudge.)
#29
Old 11-05-2013, 10:55 PM
Shouting Grasshopper
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 12,750
Speaking of the genesis of Beatles lyrics, I was amused to hear Paul include the snippet "O U T spells out!" on his latest album. I guess it's from a children's rhyme? The lyric shows up earlier in both their fan club record and then later when Ringo "covers" Christmas Time Is Here Again.
#30
Old 11-05-2013, 10:56 PM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,291
Moved to Cafe Society (which didn't exist in 2000, when this thread was started).

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
#31
Old 11-05-2013, 11:35 PM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,291
Quote:
Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
Speaking of the genesis of Beatles lyrics, I was amused to hear Paul include the snippet "O U T spells out!" on his latest album. I guess it's from a children's rhyme?
It's used in choosing-up rhymes like "Eenie meenie minie mo."
#32
Old 11-06-2013, 08:47 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: IN USA
Posts: 13,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
Mjollnir wrote

Couple of points:
#1) The song was always titled "Mrs. Robinson", but you're right that it was around long before "The Graduate". It first appeared (I believe) on the "Bookends" album.

#2) I always thought that it was an drug/alcohol-rehab facility, like The Betty Ford Center. The lines about "Hide it in little hiding place where no one ever goes. Put it in the pantry with your cupcakes" sounds to me like a problem drinker with secret stashes of booze.

Fenris
So here was my childhood take on the song, having seen The Graduate either on TV or a the Drive-In when my parents took my brother & myself...

After the events of the movie, the truth about the affair came out, threatening the Robinsons' marriage & her emotional stability, so much so that she either checked into or was committed to a mental health facility which had some sort of Christian affiliation.

Looking back, that was pretty sophisticated thinking for being around ten years old.
#33
Old 11-06-2013, 09:46 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,699
Just want to add that my earlier post from a dozen years ago (under a previous name) was 100% levity. I was simply adding artistic verisimiltude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
#34
Old 11-06-2013, 12:54 PM
Charter Member
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 72,658
Wait, wasn't "I am the walrus" the one they deliberately wrote to not make any sense, just to confuse scholars who were trying to unravel the meaning of their songs?
#35
Old 11-06-2013, 03:26 PM
Horrified Onlooker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,055
Ever since I heard The Rutles' parody of I Am The Walrus, I can't help but hear the phrase as "Do a poo-POO."
#36
Old 11-06-2013, 05:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Wait, wasn't "I am the walrus" the one they deliberately wrote to not make any sense, just to confuse scholars who were trying to unravel the meaning of their songs?
IATW was Lennon, not "they". I've always thought Lennon was under the influence of Dylan and LSD when he wrote that and that about 60% of it was just playing with the sounds and rhythms of words. Though, if some critic wanted to search for some deeper, inner meaning behind the line "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye", it was probably cool with Lennon.
#37
Old 11-06-2013, 05:29 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
Just want to add that my earlier post from a dozen years ago (under a previous name) was 100% levity. I was simply adding artistic verisimiltude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
Careful, you're liable to get your head chopped off.
#38
Old 11-06-2013, 10:13 PM
Horrified Onlooker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,055
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Jeff View Post
IATW was Lennon, not "they". I've always thought Lennon was under the influence of Dylan and LSD when he wrote that and that about 60% of it was just playing with the sounds and rhythms of words. Though, if some critic wanted to search for some deeper, inner meaning behind the line "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye", it was probably cool with Lennon.
I've always felt the same, although I'd say it was more like 95% sounds and rhythms of words. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_the_Walrus has a lot of background info on the subject, including (for example)
"Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,
All mixed together with a dead dog's eye,
Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick,
Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick."
#39
Old 11-08-2013, 12:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,111
Pete Shotton and John Lennon were hanging out dipping into one of the huge mail bags the Beatles used to receive. A teacher from their school had written talking about analyzing Beatles songs in his class. Lennon and Shotton recalled the schoolboy verse cited above (sort of the British equivalent of "Great Green Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts"), and Lennon adapted it with an attitude of "Let them try analyzing that!"
#40
Old 11-08-2013, 04:34 PM
Horrified Onlooker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,055
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam A. Robrin View Post
Pete Shotton and John Lennon were hanging out dipping into one of the huge mail bags the Beatles used to receive. A teacher from their school had written talking about analyzing Beatles songs in his class. Lennon and Shotton recalled the schoolboy verse cited above (sort of the British equivalent of "Great Green Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts"), and Lennon adapted it with an attitude of "Let them try analyzing that!"
As detailed in the article I linked to.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:53 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: helen hunt sick recurring itchy spot click in distance minesweeper boats meat lockers making coin dies loud stereo toilet no tank buy mistletoe kitchen nightmares best smallest unit drano didnt work titanic skeletons short handled shovels jove god dark wizard name nazi norway buy uhaul trailers windshield antenna ems checks dora redesign masturbation blindness heartworm medication petsmart leafs leaves drug baggies wheelchair diapers blonde indians three stooges theme human catnip pencil in ear define realigning election gerry jackets vs north face what is the symbol under the tilde troy bilt riding mower transmission problems why black out license plate on craigslist where can i find chloroform log base 2 matlab bike with ape hangers does arbor mist go bad meet the parents i'm watching you better to be thought a fool than to open cost of bowling alley is cunt a bad word illinois children in front seat how do you pronounce snopes how to make a computer tower wireless eagle eyes navigator sunglasses reviews b rock the islamic shock burger king with playground how to mail a check length of a short sword how to snap a dog's neck snap on tool specials can pepto bismol turn your tongue black clear care foaming over 2003 ford taurus egr valve battery for toro personal pace mower v6 engine vs 4 cylinder max linder bacon number what color is windshield wiper fluid window film that you can see out but not in mayo left out overnight when did nick fury become black can you dry clothes in a microwave