Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 01-13-2005, 04:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1
What's the hidden message in the song "Minnie the Moocher"?

Cab Calloway sings a song called "Minnie the Moocher". It's a catchy song and I've noticed that a lot of my favorite Big Band groups have made their own version of it. Does the story have any meaning? Is Minnie a real person? And what does the word "cokie" mean, as well as the term "kick the gong around"?
#2
Old 01-13-2005, 06:49 AM
Mod Rocker
Moderator
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,361
Generally you'll get quicker responses to music questions over in the Cafe Society Forum. I'll move this over, for you.

[ /Moderator Mode ]
#3
Old 01-13-2005, 07:13 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,785
"Cokie" is what you think it is - intoxicated with cocaine. "Kick the gong around" is another drug reference; I think it means to indulge in opium.

Lots of Cab's tunes have these passing drug references. Sign of times back then.
#4
Old 01-13-2005, 09:04 AM
Eve Eve is offline
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 22,064
An earlier version of the song, from the 1920s, was Willie the Weeper:

Quote:
Folks, let me tell you 'bout Willie the Weeper
Willie the Weeper was a chimney sweeper
He had the dope habit and he had it bad,
Listen while I tell you 'bout a dream he had.
And the rest of it pretty much follows Minnie's dope dreams.
#5
Old 01-13-2005, 01:15 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Viburnum, MO
Posts: 9,135
CAB CALLOWAY [to the Blues Brothers backup band]: Do you guys know Minnie the Moocher?

MURPH: I once knew a hooker named Minnie Mizzoli!
#6
Old 01-13-2005, 02:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
I want to see this version

Quote:
Several of the "Betty Boop" cartoons used jazz songs, not simply as background music, but for style of movement. One of the most interesting of these for our purposes is "Minnie, the Moocher." The film begins with live action footage of Cab Calloway, who made the song his trademark, and his Cotton Club Orchestra (he had replaced Ellington as the club's headliner). Cab sings and dances the title song. When the animation begins, Betty and her father, a Jew from Austria, perhaps based upon the Fleischers' own father, are arguing. He insists that she must follow the family tradition and eat a traditional dish. Betty tearfully refuses. The scene is a thinly disguised parody of "The Jazz Singer." Like Jakie Rabinowitz, Betty decides to run away. Like Jakie, she too runs toward jazz music. But, unlike Jakie, Betty runs toward the real thing. No "Toot, Toot, Tootsie" for her. With her boyfriend, the dog Bimbo, she runs off to the strains of "Minnie, the Moocher."

Minnie, Calloway sings, had learned "to kick the gong around," to use opium, from her boy friend "Smoky" whose drug of choice was cocaine. Although the cartoon does not show Betty taking any drug, she does, to the accompaniment of Cab's version of the song, find herself in a dream world. Her experiences, however, do not parallel Minnie's. Minnie dreamed that the King of Sweden "was giving her things that she was needin'." Instead Betty meets a ghostly walrus with enlarged lips who sings the song. Betty and Bimbo are terrified, as well they should be, for the Walrus transforms itself into a spectral cat whose kittens suck it dry and into a prison guard who escorts skeletons to the electric chair, among other transmigrations. In all of these, the walrus/cat/guard moves like Cab Calloway. At one point, in a reversal of a Stepin Fetchit gag, Betty and Bimbo turn black with fear. Finally, Betty and Bimbo run for their lives, pursued by various goblins and skeletons. Bimbo seeks refuge in the dog house. Betty climbs into her own bed. The farewell letter she left for her parents obligingly shreds itself, leaving the message "Home, Sweet, Home."
#7
Old 01-13-2005, 02:21 PM
Uncharted
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 31,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
That's on at least one video, maybe two or a DVD. I'd have to check which it is that I have.
#8
Old 01-13-2005, 03:26 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,308
"Hidden" message? It was pretty well understood was Minnie was:

from A Night at the Opera

Quote:
Groucho: Why, you can get a phonograph record of "Minnie the Moocher" for 75 cents. And for a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie.
#9
Old 01-14-2005, 04:12 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,534
A friend of mine has all known Betty Boops on video; many of them can only be described as psychedelic. Awesome stuff! Louis Armstrong was in a Halloween one as a ghost. Another fave of ours featured Nobody for President, since Nobody was going to help the working stiff...

Cokey is indeed just coke. You went down to Chinatown for opiates, more likely heroin (see also "Chinese Rock") than opium smoking in the early '30s.

I understand the "heidy ho" bit was a "hide the ho(s)" call for when speakeasies were raided, but perhaps this is urban legend.
#10
Old 01-14-2005, 09:49 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: IN USA
Posts: 13,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crandolph
A friend of mine has all known Betty Boops on video; many of them can only be described as psychedelic. Awesome stuff! Louis Armstrong was in a Halloween one as a ghost. Another fave of ours featured Nobody for President, since Nobody was going to help the working stiff...

Cokey is indeed just coke. You went down to Chinatown for opiates, more likely heroin (see also "Chinese Rock") than opium smoking in the early '30s.

I understand the "heidy ho" bit was a "hide the ho(s)" call for when speakeasies were raided, but perhaps this is urban legend.
At my first viewing of ROCKY HORROR (around 1984), the Betty Boop "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs" cartoon opened it. Freakier than RHPS- believe me. Jazz song of choice was ST. JAMES INFIRMARY.
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 07:26 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: games like scratches carol brady haircut stltoday obit roomates.com reviews cat house prices dark computer room horseradish taste heart thump drew carey kate philip winchester accent shrink object pathfinder buying used mattresses dune plot sims2 babies paystubs adp thru traffic pronounce heroine woven floss discontinued hells angels hammer breaker cabinets stuck tonsil stone paul regina box carton gary phenomenon nose lotion pusillanimous etymology non denatured alcohol tout suite definition benadryl runny nose security clearance polygraph spook derogatory good and fruity where to buy what is darkness in latin paypal shipping is not available. we apologize for the inconvenience. meaning of chi chi how big bolt cutters to cut padlock panda as a pet pandora bracelets are ugly how to fix bed slats song about reuniting with a lost love why is dilbert's tie bent moving cat across country is it legal to have a viking funeral how to remove toilet seat plastic bolts sell walnut tree for lumber is your refrigerator running joke meaning no water coming out of any faucets trader joe's earl grey tea why are my teeth separating if i like and then unlike will it show facebook free mcafee for at&t customers don't bring a knife to a gunfight do bacterial infections go away on their own ba bada ba ba song del taco fish taco recipe pizza hut crushed red pepper saved by the bell phrase does fandango sell sold out tickets pump oil out of tank how to get spray paint out of hair uncomfortable headrests in new cars what is one over infinity