View Full Version : What's the real name of that "There's a Place in France . . ." song?

02-16-2003, 02:46 PM
I recently went on a classic animation binge, watching a collection of old Mickey Mouse cartoons, followed by a bunch of Felix shorts. One thing that struck me as odd was how all the cartoons from the '20s and '30s seem to use the same songs over and over, particularly "Turkey in the Straw" and this . . . other song. The song in question sounds vaguely Middle Eastern, and in the cartoons it usually accompanies something exotic or foreign-seeming, like a snake charmer or a turban-clad man riding an elephant. Everyone's probably heard this tune, and when I was a kid (early '80s), we even had lyrics for it: "There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance; there's a hole in the wall where the men can see it all; but the men don't care, 'cause they choose their underwear . . . . "

So, what is the real title of this song? Who wrote it? Why was it used so extensively in old cartoons? And how long have kids had their own lyrics for the song?

Shreveport, LA

02-16-2003, 02:52 PM
Here (http://members.lycos.nl/catchytune/egypt.mid) is the tune as a MIDI file.

02-16-2003, 03:02 PM

Okay, I answered my own question. (Searched the archives here, which I should've done first). This site discusses the tune (written by Sol Bloom, but stolen and used by numerous performers at the turn of the century).

I am still curious about the schoolyard lyrics, though. Anyone know anything about variations/earliest recorded version?


02-16-2003, 03:04 PM
Not so fast: (http://ctc.portland.co.uk/answers.html)
B01.Kradoutja or Hootchy Kootchy Dance or Hoolah Hoolah or The Dance Of The Midway or Coochi Coochi Polka or Danse Du Ventre or Kutchi Kutchi or Kutchy Kutchy or Koochie Koochie Dance or The Streets Of Cairo or The Poor Little Country Maid (midi-9kB) - The 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition seems to be the source of - at least the popularity of - this tune. Sol Bloom claimed he ad libbed it to accompany a dancer and forgot to claim copyright. It quickly became very popular under scores of titles. However! An 1857 French print of the melody has been found, that states this actually is an Algerian or Arabic traditional called Kradoutja, dating back to at least the 17th century.

02-16-2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by smithsonian
I am still curious about the schoolyard lyrics, though. Anyone know anything about variations/earliest recorded version?

The version I heard as a kid:

There's a place in France
where the ladies where no pants

(then it continues about underwear, but I think different from the OP's version. Can't remember it, sorry.)

The Flying Dutchman
02-16-2003, 05:55 PM
1950's, southern Ontario version

There's a place called France
Where the ladies wear no pants
And the men wear glasses
To see their dirty asses

Fear Itself
02-16-2003, 07:06 PM
I remember:

"There's a place on Mars,
Where the women smoke cigars"

02-16-2003, 07:29 PM
"There's a place in France
Where the ladies were no pants
And the men go 'round
With their hammers hanging down."

Burnaby (Vancouver) BC, c1970.

02-16-2003, 07:31 PM
I don't know what kind of ladies they WERE, but they didn't WEAR pants!

(Preview, zoogirl, PREVIEW!)

02-16-2003, 08:26 PM
There's a place in France
Where the naked ladies dance
But the men don't care
Cause they don't wear underwear

Circa 1975, central Minnesota.

I'd like to get my hands on a copy of that Kradoutja.

02-16-2003, 09:29 PM
There's a place in France
Where the naked ladies dance.
There's a hole in the wall
Where the boys can see it all.

Was what I heard in St. Louis in the early 70s

02-16-2003, 09:43 PM
There's a place in France
Where the alligators dance
The one couldn't dance
So they kicked him in the pants
The pants next door
Cost a dollar forty four
Plus tax.

02-16-2003, 09:49 PM
There's a board we know
Where the happy Dopers go
Unca Cecil rants,
"Gotta stomp out ignorance!"

*takes a bow*


Trigonal Planar
02-16-2003, 10:08 PM
I knew a slightly different version:

In the land of Oz
Where the ladies where no bras
But the men don't care
'cuz they wear no underwear

02-17-2003, 12:00 PM
The version we sang where I live (central NJ, late 70s) goes:
there's a place in France
where the naked ladies dance
There's a hole in the wall
Where the men can see it all

02-17-2003, 12:13 PM
of all the lost childhood memories, I still remember:

They don't wear pants
in the southern part of France,
But they do wear grass
to cover up their ass.

02-17-2003, 08:04 PM
Similar to racer72's, Mid-Atlantic area, c 1970

There's a place in France
Where the alligators dance
One wouldn't dance
So they shot him in the pants
The pants he wore
Cost a dollar ninety-four
Plus tax.


There's a place on Mars
Where the ladies smoke cigars.
Every puff they take
Is enough to kill a snake.
When the snakes are dead
They put diamonds in their head.
When the diamonds crack,
They put mustard on their back.
When the mustard dries,
They put rubies in their eyes....

I don't understand their motivation, of course. I merely report.

02-17-2003, 09:24 PM
All I remember is the first two lines:

Oh, they don't wear pants
On the sunny side of France.

Best Topics: touching halogen bulb classic stripper songs hottentot meaning scoche definition joining facebook gloria excelsis penis chafe motorcycle towing cost ticket for racing blocked wifi gillian welch guitar inhaled food akron swingers pants slack storied pomp c4 brick us dominates olympics sexy stripper names home depot 4x4x10 buster browns shoes screen door submarine chainsaw hedge trimmer phrase card game ananda mahidol faberge spiders taste buds hurt communism atheism sleeping in bath siobhan pronounciation best stripper names asian meat market beer histamine silverado battery how far will enterprise drive to pick you up why does my handwriting look so bad big girl yoga pants my eyesight is getting better jaco pastorius joni mitchell battery to 12v adapter nostril burning when breathing what happened to kelso in season 8 how to make mini fridge colder what goes with chicken cordon bleu on the side about how many miles east of the atlantic end of the canal is the pacific end does home depot sell wood pallets books similar to the stand superb choice laptop batteries reviews columbo any old port in a storm synopsis rose of jericho tatoo why do qtips feel so good safe deposit box keys best prescription discount card for adderall xr why wont ebay accept my credit card how many delivery attempts does fedex make bouncing leg while sitting how to heat up fried rice lower tolerance to alcohol how much does an nfl football cost end of school party ideas for middle schoolers is borax boric acid walter white gordon freeman what is towel dried hair lowes pre cut plywood marvin gaye vocal range