Today’s Zippy has our hero producing yet another burlesque of popular music (for a survey of burlesques, parodies, and playful allusions on this blog, look here):

The song is “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, made famous by the Tiny Tim performance of it on the ukelele (hence Griffiths’s title “Tiny Whim”) in the 1960s.

But the tune goes back to 1929, when it was featured in one of the very earliest talkies, Gold Diggers of Broadway — where Nick Lucas performed the song “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips” in a romantic tenor:

(a *fabulous* clip). The words to the Al Dubin/Joe Burke song:

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I’ll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we’ll stray
We’ll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Now zip forward about 40 years to Tiny Tim, appearing on television on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Here he is in his first appearance (of many), where he was presented as a figure of fun (with jokes about his sexuality):

A note on the man:

Tiny Tim (born Herbert Khaury; April 12, 1932 – November 30, 1996) was an American singer, ukulele player, and musical archivist. He was most famous for his rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” sung in a distinctive high falsetto/vibrato voice. (Wikipedia link)

(His presentation of self was always as a gentle asexual person, playful and sweet. His memorial site here.) Finally, a 1968 performance of his signature tune:

Meanwhile, Zippy tiptoes through the trousseau. Oboes, chimpanzees, tenpins, tweed, and a wheelwright are involved.



One Response to “Tiptoe”

  1. Lavender and dill | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] of the uke as a silly plinking instrument, and Bill Griffith has evoked it at least once before, in a strip in which Zippy burlesques “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on the […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: