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Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)"
Single by Allan Sherman
from the album My Son, the Nut
B-side"(Rag Mop) Rat Fink"
ReleasedAugust 1963
GenreNovelty song
LabelWarner Bros. Records
Songwriter(s)Amilcare Ponchielli, Allan Sherman, Lou Busch
Producer(s)Jimmy Hilliard
Allan Sherman singles chronology
"The Twelve Gifts of Christmas"
"Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)"
"Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp) (1964 Version)"

"Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)" is a novelty song recorded by Allan Sherman. The melody is taken from the ballet Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli, while the lyrics were written by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch.

Allan based the lyrics on letters of complaint which he received from his son Robert who was attending Camp Champlain, a summer camp in Westport, New York.[1]

In 2020, the song was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2]

The song

The song is a parody that complains about the fictional "Camp Granada" and is set to the tune of Amilcare Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours. The name derives from the first lines:

Hello Muddah, hello Fadduh.
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining.
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining

The lyrics go on to describe unpleasant, dangerous, and tragic developments, such as fellow campers going missing or contracting deadly illnesses. He asks how his "precious little brother" is doing, and begs to be taken home, afraid of being left out in the forest and fearing getting eaten by a bear, promising to behave, and even letting his aunt Bertha hug and kiss him. At the end, he notes that the rain has stopped and fun activities have begun (such as swimming, sailing, and baseball), and asks his parents to "kindly disregard this letter".


The song scored #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list for three weeks beginning on August 24, 1963. It was kept from #1 by both "Fingertips" by "Little" Stevie Wonder and "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels.[3] Sherman wrote a new 'back at Camp Granada' version, "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! 64",[4] for a May 27, 1964, performance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Sherman began that version by giving a camp whistle, followed by his spelling Granada's name, and then sticks out his tongue. In that version, the narrator is back at camp, where some things, like the food have improved, "because the little black things in it are not moving". However, no one knows where his bunk, trunk, or the skunk is. The narrator wishes that the showers, that have thin doors, were moved indoors. Lenny Bruce was scheduled to entertain there at the camp. The narrator loves the camp, missing the poker games, and is taking care of his once homesick younger brother, who is immature. "He's like all of us except his bed is wetter". This version was released as a single in 1964. Sherman wrote a third version for, and acted in, a 1965 TV commercial for a board game about Camp Granada, a "real rotten camp".[5] The original version also reached #9 on the Pop-Standard Singles chart.[6] The song hit number one in Hong Kong, which does not have any summer camps. The song won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance.[7] It was played frequently on the Dr. Demento Show and is featured on the Rhino Records compilation album, Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection. It was played over the end credits of the 1993 film Indian Summer and was briefly heard in The Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud" after Bart Simpson switches the family's answering machine cassette tapes, to which Homer got confused and assumed it was Lisa phoning from a summer camp. It was featured in the final scene of The King of Queens episode "Tube Stakes", during which main character Arthur Spooner performs his morning stretches.


Variations of the song include adaptations in Swedish ("Brev från kolonien" by Cornelis Vreeswijk), Finnish ("Terve mutsi, terve fatsi, tässä teidän ihmelapsi") and Norwegian ("Brev fra leier'n" by Birgit Strøm). The Finnish version is included in the Finnish Boy Scouts' songbook. The Swedish version notably does not revolve around the camper hating the camp, but is about the kids running roughshod over it and having run off all the counselors, one of whom has committed suicide after they let a snake into the mess hall, and the organizer of the camp being arrested by police after the kids start a forest fire. The song begins with the boy writing the letter asking his parents to send more money, because he has lost all his pocket money playing dice with the other campers. The song then ends with the boy having to wrap up the letter as he is about to join the others in burning down the neighboring camp lodge.

The Dutch version Brief uit la Courtine sung by Rijk de Gooyer is not about a children's summer camp, but about a soldier in the Dutch army camp at La Courtine, France.

The Austrian comedian Paul Pizzera presented a German interpretation with the name “Jungscharlager” in 2013.

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Paul Lieberman (August 16, 2003). "The Boy in Camp Granada". Lifestyle. LA Times. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  2. ^ "National Recording Registry Class Produces Ultimate 'Stay at Home' Playlist". Library of Congress. March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved Apr 1, 2020.
  4. ^ " : Camp Granada". Retrieved Apr 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "LikeTelevision - Camp Granada by Milton Bradley". liketelevision ...only better. LikeTelevision. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 217.
  7. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1964 – Grammy Award Winners 1964". Retrieved 10 August 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 August 2020, at 14:10
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