Morning name: mock-Swedish nonsense

A recent morning name, a ghost from my childhood: a novelty song first recorded in 1941. From Wikipedia:

“The Hut-Sut Song (a Swedish Serenade)” is a novelty song from the 1940s with nonsense lyrics. The song was written in 1941 by Leo V. Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens. The first and most popular recording was by Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights.

The lyrics of the chorus are supposed to be a garbled rendition of a Swedish folk song. The chorus goes in part: Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah and a brawla, brawla sooit.

The song then purports to define some of the words, supposedly Swedish: “Rawlson” being a Swedish town, “rillerah” being a stream, “brawla” being the boy and girl, “hut-sut” being their dream and “sooit” being the schoolteacher.

You can listen to the 1941 Horace Heidt recording here.

Many other recordings were made over the years.

The lyrics are mock-Swedish, and (though nonsensical) are given fanciful English translations.

Personal note: I recollect the initial phrase as

hot-sot Ralston on the williaw

thus managing to conjure up actual English words for the four items in the nonsense version: hot, sot, Ralston (like the breakfast cereals), and (from NOAD2) even williwaw:

noun   a sudden violent squall blowing offshore from a mountainous coast

Though arguably composed of real English words, the whole expression is still nonsense.

There are, of course, other nonsensical forms — for instance, the HTs (“homophonic translations”) considered in several LLog and AZBlog postings, for instance my 11/2/12 posting “Icelandic for Dummies”, which looks at both bilingual ones like Mots d’Heures, Gousses, Rames ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’, and monolingual ones like  Ladle Rat Rotten Hut ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

My childhood was also afflicted by the novelty song “Mairzy Doats”, in which casual-speech pronunciations are “translated” into nonsensical respelled words (starting with the title, which is a “translation: of connected-speech mares eat oats etc.).

You can listen to the 1944 Pied Pipers version of the song here. Warning: the chorus is remarkably catchy, into earworm territory. The song is also eminently danceable.

(My mother thought it was really really cute — she was into cute — and it became her favorite song to sing to the little me, in her unfortunately atonal way; the quality of her singing voice was wonderful, but her pitch control was, alas, awry.)



3 Responses to “Morning name: mock-Swedish nonsense”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Mike Pope on Facebook, slightly edited:

    I cannot think of mock Swedish without thinking of Swedish Chef on The Muppets: Flappen Jacken Hooten!

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Robert Coren on Facebook:

    I’m also reminded of Charlie Chaplin’s mock French song in “Modern Times”.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Michael Siemon on Facebook:

    I don’t think I ever heard the original song, but there was something I heard repeatedly in the 60s folkish/comedic milieu that went “Hot sut on the rilla-rah, and so and so and so on” in obvious mockery of it.

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