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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Music in Cartoons- pt. 1: California, Here I Come

Yo! I'm back! Starting now is a regular series of posts on my blog regarding the music you hear in cartoons. As you may or may not know, in Warner Bros. cartoons, musician Carl Stalling often slipped in actual songs into cartoons. Songs that were kindred to the action on-screen. For example, the song, "We're in the Money" would be played on the soundtrack if a cartoon character was counting money. Today, we'll talk about "California, Here I Come." The ditty was written in 1924, by Bud De Sylva and Joseph Meyer. The song was originally performed by Al Jolson (whom, I'm sure you're aware had an enormous impact on many WB employees). Thanks to Wikipedia for letting me ransack their site (SHHHHH!), here are the lyrics to this time-honored song: When the wintry winds are blowing/ And the snow is starting in to fall/ Then my eyes turn westward/ Knowing that's the placeI love the best of all/ California, I've been blue/ Since I've been away from you,I can't wait 'til I get going,Even now I'm starting in to call: California here I come/ Right back where I started from/ Where bowers of flowers bloom in the sun/ Each morning at dawningBirdies sing an' ev'rything:A sun-kiss'd miss said/ "don't be late,"That's why I can hardly wait,Open up that Golden Gate,California here I come. It should be noted that this song is used as the theme song for Fox's "The O.C." Regarding WB cartoons it is heard in Chuck Jones' "Hair-Raising Hare" when Bugs runs away from the scientist and is packing bags. It's heard throughout Frank Tashlin's "Porky's Railroad", and in Robert McKimson's "Walky Talky Hawky" when Henry Hawk picks up Barnyard Dawg's doghouse and starts hauling it away.If you want to hear a version of this song, I searched AOL and came up with dis: http://aolsearch.aol.com/aol/redir?src=singingfish&requestId=e8298c7bf5d64d64&clickedItemRank=1&userQuery=California%2C+Here+I+Come&clickedItemURN=http%3A%2F%2Fdismuke.net%2Fmusicfiles%2Fhowmusic%2Fhereicome.rm And, here's a little tidbit about myself: When I was a little kid watching Looney Tunes like nothing else was important, I used to notice the "California" music in many Porky Pig cartoons. I never knew what the song was, but because it was used in many Porky Pig shorts that I assumed it was Porky Pig's theme music. I was surprised when I saw "Walky..." and heard the music and thought, "Why are they playing Porky Pig's theme in a Foghorn Leghorn short?" Let the heckling begin!

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