Wednesday, October 1, 2014

100 years ago: “The Aba Daba Honeymoon” hit #1

The Aba Daba Honeymoon

Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan

Writer(s): Walter Donaldson and Arthur Fields (both: words and music) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 1, 1914

Peak: 12 US, 20 GA, 12 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.09 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This bizarre novelty song about a monkey wedding and honeymoon had a surprisingly sturdy shelf life. The song had a similar theme and title to the 1910 song “On a Monkey Honeymoon,” which was “about a bride and groom and he called her his monkey, whereas ‘Aba Daba Honeymoon’ was about a monkey with a long tail and a happy chimpanzee and they were in love, the chimp calling her monkey Monk and the monkey calling his lover chimp, Chimpy. Yet again there was a big baboon who performed the wedding ceremony but this time it really was a baboon.” SMThe listener finds out that the gibberish lyrics translate to the monkee and chimp declaring their love for each other.

Ruth Roye introduced the song in 1914 at the Palace Theater in New York. TY2 That same year, Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan had a #1 with the song. The song resurfaced again for the films King of Jazz (1930) and Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe (1945), TY2 but its most significant appearance came in the 1950 film Two Weeks with Love. Debbie Reynolds sang it in the film with Carleton Carpenter and their version was released as a single, reaching #3 in 1951.

It was one of several versions of the song to chart in its resurgence more than 25 years after Collins and Harlan first charted with it. There were other versions by Kitty Kallen & Richard Hayes (#9, 1951), Freddy Martin (#12, 1951), Cliff Stewart (#19, 1951), and Hoagy Carmichael with Cass Daley (#23, 1951). PM

It resurfaced again in 1960 when Joe “Fingers” Carr and Ira Ironstrings recorded it for their album Together for the Last Time, Volume 1. DJ


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First posted 2/27/2023.

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