Today, December 11th would have been my father’s 72nd birthday. He passed away 8 years ago.
I often think about him while interacting with my kids – wondering how much he would have loved spending time with them, and recently my boys have been asking me if I will take them to the cemetery to visit his headstone… Not sure how this all came up, but I do not think they are ready yet. Today my middle child asked me if my father was still alive. I asked him if he had met him. A couple seconds later upon realizing that he had not, he concluded that my Dad must have died before he was born. “Oh” was his reply.
The other day I was reminded of him while in the car when I heard one of his favourite songs, and that brought it all back for me in a good, nostalgic way.
That song was Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen, recorded in 1966.
You see my Dad loved Snoopy from Peanuts fame (look it up kids).
This particular song is a novelty song about the imaginary World War I antics of Charlie Brown’s pet beagle Snoopy, in the comic strip Peanuts.
“Snoopy Vs The Red Baron” was inspired by the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz, which featured a recurring storyline of Snoopy imagining himself in the role of a World War I airman fighting the Red Baron.
“Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” was released only four weeks after the first Sunday Peanuts comic strip featuring Snoopy fighting the Red Baron appeared. Schulz and United Features Syndicate sued the Royal Guardsmen for using the name Snoopy without permission or an advertising license. UFS won the suit; the penalty was that all of the publishing revenues from the song would go to them. Schulz did allow the group to write more Snoopy songs.
The song features the sounds of German gibberish, heard at the beginning of the song, stating that the song will sing of the “pig headed dog and the beloved Red Baron,” as well as the German and American sounds of the Sergeant counting off in 4s.
The song features the sound effects of a fighter airplane, as well as the sounds of shooting and a tailspin sound of a plane at the end of the last verse.
This song also quotes the instrumental chords from The McCoys’ version of “Hang On Sloopy.” In the original recording, the lyrics “Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on” were sung at this point. This led to some initial speculation that the Guardsmen were the McCoys under a different name. Prior to release, these lyrics were changed from Snoopy to Sloopy to prevent copyright issues.
You can hear it here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E&feature=related
Then just a couple of days ago I heard another one of his favourite songs, this one called; In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. It was from 1968 and the darn song is over 17 minutes long. I found the full song on YouTube but it was so big that it had to be broken in 2. Both parts are below.
Have a listen and let me know what you think of 2 unique songs from the 60’s.