Mudcat Café message #1222007 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71236   Message #1222007
Posted By: Mark Cohen
09-Jul-04 - 05:14 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Chewing Gum / Choo'n Gum / Bubble Gum
Subject: RE: Penny to buy chewing gum/Gershwin?
Mahalo a nui loa, Norval--that's it! The tune is "La Sorella", by Charles Borel-Clerc, written in 1909. This site, Classical Archives Forum, which seems like it's run by quite a knowledgeable musician, includes a link to a MIDI, under the name "cancan-x" (scroll down). That must be the one you found, because it also mentions that it's based on the Spanish song "La Mattchiche." However, from what I've been able to determine, "La Mattchiche" is a French song about a racy dance called "La Mattchiche" or "Maxixe", perhaps similar to the cancan. There's a site here that includes a brief audio file of "La Mattchiche", but my French isn't good enough to translate the words.

Still, it appears that Gershwin took the theme from a popular French song (so much for his claim that the themes were all original!), and I imagine that Vic Mizzy heard either "La Sorella"/"La Mattchiche" or "An American in Paris" and borrowed the tune for "Choo'n Gum."

Mystery solved! Thanks again to the Mudcat.


PS, I have a vague memory of my high school girlfriend's mother working on a political campaign for someone named Norval Reece in Philadelphia in 1970. Any connection?