Mudcat Café message #1217527 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71236   Message #1217527
Posted By: Mark Cohen
01-Jul-04 - 03:55 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Chewing Gum / Choo'n Gum / Bubble Gum
Subject: Penny to buy chewing gum/Gershwin?
Here's a folk/folklore/classical music question. Tonight I heard a recording of Gershwin's "An American in Paris" on the radio. There's a very short theme near the beginning, that I recognized as a song my dad used to sing a short snatch of. (He was fond of singing only one or two lines from a song.) The words he sang were: "My mommy gave me a penny, to buy some chewing gum, la-la-la-la-la-la-la, do I love chewing gum." Here's an ABC file:

T:Chewing Gum
G2|A2B2c2d d|c2B4A2|c4B4|A2G4E2|F2G2A2B2|A2G4E2|F4E4|D2C4|]

My question is (well, are): did Gershwin use a popular song of the day for that tune? Did the song have anything to do with chewing gum? Or did my dad learn a children's street parody of a popular song? (That's my guess.) Or was it a children's song to begin with? I also have a very vague recollection that when my dad took me to see the movie Around the World in 80 Days (the original, with David Niven and Cantinflas), that same tune was in the soundtrack. Maybe they used the Gershwin piece in the film?

By way of orientation, my dad was born in Philadelphia in 1926 (and passed away in 1991, before I ever was interested enough in this stuff to have asked him), and "An American in Paris" was composed in 1928.

Can anybody provide any answers? I'd be much obliged.   


PS: this is NOT the Carter Family song, "Chewing Gum," which is in the DT.