Letter to the Editor


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Dear Editor:

In a recent "Parade," national "genius" columnist Marilyn Vos Savant featured the silliest questions she's received. She felt they deserved no answer. For example, one reader had asked, "How do they fit all that hot air into blow dryers? Why don't they ever run out?"

One question strikes me as being entirely legitimate, from a reader identified as "S.S. of Cape Girardeau, Missouri."

SS's letter asks:

"I say that a song popular during the 1950s went, `Ooh eee ooh ah ah wing wang walla walla bing bang.' My boyfriend insists it went, `Ooh eee ooh ah ah ching ching walla walla bing bang." Who is correct?"

Neither SS nor boyfriend has it quite right. The correct lyric is ting-tang, as in, "Ooh eee ooh ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang." The song is "Witch Doctor," composed and performed by David Seville (of Chipmunks fame) on a 45 rpm record in 1958. It was a colossal novelty hit, and has since been re-released on various CD compilations including Dr. Demento's Greatest Novelty Records of All Time.

I hope SS and boyfriend will see this answer to their question. Neither side "wins," which is happy state of affairs. They can find more information, and complete lyrics, by contacting the music publisher (the song is still popular with children's choirs) or through an Internet search.

Preston Reese

Gold River, Calif.