Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Mairzy Doats

Originally posted on May 1, 2015

This was the name of a novelty song put out in the mid 1940s:

Mairzy dotes and dozey dotes, and liddle lamzey divey;
   A kiddle edivey two, wooden shoe! (Repeat) 
If the words sound queer, and funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey.
   Sing mares eat oats, and does eat oats,
    And little lambs eat ivy!
Oh, mairzy dotes and dozey dotes, and liddle lamsey divey;
   A kiddleedivey two, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you!
It’s a mondegreen, see?  The way we learn songs is often a little jumbled, and this song played on that tendency. We didn’t have a name for it when I was a kid in the 1940s, but songwriters played with it before there was a name! What phenomena are themes for play in songs today that have not yet been recognized with a word?

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