Squirrel Nut Zippers: Ghost of Stephen Foster


The Squirrel Nut Zippers were/are a jazz-swing band that started in the ’90s, and still one of my all-time favourite music groups. They have a really catchy, fun feel to their music, with lots of different instruments, and often have the very amusing subjects and lyrics.

Their music video, Ghost of Stephen Foster was what first drew my attention to their band when it aired on MTV.

It’s done in the style of old black and white cartoons, where everything that happens is in time to the music and things don’t always have to make sense to be fun! The introduction is even based on an old classic jazz/swing cartoon classic featuring scatting legend, Cab Calloway! (Youtube of that here to compare, after you’ve watched the Zippers one.)

The short plot is about an unsuspecting couple who decide to stop the night at the Hotel Paradise… Which turns out to be haunted by really weird stuff!

I especially like the way the characters bounce/bob up and down in time to the beat when they’re not doing anything. Heh, even inanimate things like the desk counter bounce around merrily to the catchy tune! Wah, nostalgia man!

Very highly recommended watching! 3 minutes 30 seconds long. Youtube link 1 or Youtube link 2.

  GoSF1

  GoSF2

  GoSF3

  GoSF4

  GoSF5

  GoSF6

The song itself is a tribute/satire/reference to Camptown Races by Stephen Foster. The lyrics:

—————

Ghost of Stephen Foster

Met the Ghost of Stephen Foster at the Hotel Paradise
This is what I told him as I gazed into his eyes:
Rooms were made for carpets,
Towers made for spires,
Ships were made for cannonade fire off from inside them

(Chorus):
Gwine to run all night
Gwine to run all day
Camptown ladies never sang all the doo dah day no, no, no
Gwine to run all night
Gwine to run all day
Camptown ladies never sang all the doo dah day no, no, no

Met the Ghost of Stephen Foster at the Hotel Paradise
This is what I told him as I gazed into his eyes:
Ships were made for sinking,
Whiskey made for drinking,
If we were made of cellophane, we’d all get stinking drunk quite faster!
Rah ha ha!

(Repeat chorus)

—————

FIY, Stephen Foster was a great songwriter back in the 1800s. His song Camptown Races (also known as Camptown Ladies) features the lines:

De Camptown ladies sing dis song, Doo-dah! doo-dah!
De Camptown race-track five miles long, Oh, doo-dah day!
I come down dah wid my hat caved in, Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I go back home wid a pocket full of tin, Oh, doo-dah day!
Gwine to run all night!
Gwine to run all day!
I’ll bet my money on de bob-tail nag,
Somebody bet on de bay.

If you heard the tune, maybe you’d recognize it. I did 😉

  GoSFz

         Go ahead! Watch the video one more time. Rah ha ha!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: