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    Remembering commercial jingles

    I’ve recently been on a kick of remembering old-time TV commercials and theme songs. The first one that came to mind was the Armour hot dog song. I couldn’t remember the middle part of the lyrics, but Terry filled me in and here they are:

    “Hotdogs, Armour hotdogs. What kinds of kids love Armour hot dogs? Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks, tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox love hotdogs, Armour hot dogs, the dogs kids love to bite.”

    Another one of my favorite commercials was the Bumblebee Tuna commercial. Here are the lyrics to that one if you can remember it:

    “Yum, yum Bumblebee, Bumblebee tuna. I love Bumblebee, Bumblebee tuna. Yum, yum Bumblebee, Bumblebee tuna, I love a sandwich made with Bumblebee.”

    There was also the Oscar Mayer theme song, which I think most people know still today:

    “My baloney has a first name; it's O-S-C-A-R. My baloney has a second name; it's M-A-Y-E-R. Oh, I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why, I'll say, cause Oscar-Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.”

    I obviously watched a lot of TV as a kid. Another one is for Chicken of the Sea:

    Ask any mermaid you happen to see, "What's the best tuna?" "Chicken of the Sea."

    But I think my all-time favorite commercial was the Coca Cola commercial which had about 500 kids on a hillside in Italy (cut back from the original plan of 1,200 children due to budget constraints) and known as “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”

    It’s interesting that the original airings on radio were accepted by Coke dealers around the country and it wasn’t until the commercial came on TV that it became such a hit. There were actually two versions of singles released with the theme by two different groups (The New Seekers and the Hillside Singers) and both versions made the top twenty on the pop chart.

    And here are the lyrics (to the commercial version) I came up with:

    “I'd like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love,
    Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves.
    I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
    I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.
    [Repeat the last two lines, and in the background:]
    It's the real thing, Coke is what the world wants today.”

    I’m a die-hard Coke fan to this day, actually diet Coke. It’s ironic is that Pepsi people are really vehement about their preferences as are Coke people.

    What’s interesting to me about these commercials is that the song was made popular by the commercial product. Instead of being entertained and then having to listen to a commercial, the commercial itself was the entertainment.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com