My fourth grade teacher, Shirley O'Brian, was an accomplished pianist and singer in addition to being a fantastic elementary school teacher. She had a piano in our classroom, and on Fridays she would teach us silly songs like "Weenie Man" and "Wattaly Atcha". Perhaps you learned this song at summer camp or a scouting retreat.
Wada Lee Atcha
wada lee atcha,
wada lee atcha
doodly doo, doodly doo
Wada lee atcha,
wada lee atcha
doodly doo, doodly doo,
Simplest thing, there isn’t much to it,
All you’ve got to do is doodly doo, it
I like the rest, but the part I like best
Is the doodly, doodly doo doo
There were pattycake-style hand motions that went along with the song as well. As you repeated the song, you sang it faster and faster, until no one could keep up with the motions and everyone burst out laughing.
It turns out that this song has a bit of history. "Wattaly Atcha" is based on a popular song from 1924 entitled "Doodle Doo Doo." The song was written by two famous music personalities, Art Kassel and Mel Stitzel. The chorus of the original song went something like this:
Please play for me that sweet melody
Called Doodle Doo-Doo, Doodle Doo-Doo
I like the rest, but what I like best is
Doodle Doo-Doo, Doodle Doo-Doo
Simplest thing, there's nothing much to it
Don't have to sing, just Doodle Doo-Doo it
I love it so, wherever I go,
I Doodle Doo-Doo-Dee-Doo-Doo
Here's a nice vintage 1924 recording of Doodle Doo Doo, performed by D. Onivas and Orchestra (?), released on Perfect 14272, with a vocal chorus by Ernest Hare:
Recognize the tune?
If you know the story of how this old novelty tune became a favorite campfire song for kids, feel free to leave a comment.
(Thanks to my friend Jennifer at GenX Blog for inspiring this post)