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  1. #1

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    Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Ever since I first saw Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, the song that the school children sing while the birds gather outside of the schoolhouse has haunted me. (Am I the only one? lol) I finally decided to google for the song or the lyrics, and to my surprise, I actually found the lyrics.

    Here is the song as it is sung in the film:

    The butter came out a grizzle-y-grey. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now! The cheese took legs and ran away! Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

    She let the critter get away. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

    I asked my wife to wash the floor. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now! She gave me my hat and she showed me the door! Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, Now, now, now!

    I married my wife in the month of June. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now!
    I brought her off by the light of the moon. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

    She combed her hair but once a year. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!


    Altogether it is a very interesting song. Does anyone else remember this tune or this scene from the film? I just thought I'd share my findings with any fellow MiceChatters who might have always wondered what those school kids were singing that made those birds peck their little eyes out...



  2. #2

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    I've seen the movie but I have no idea what you are talking about. I've only seen the movie twice so....


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  3. #3

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGal
    I've seen the movie but I have no idea what you are talking about. I've only seen the movie twice so....
    Well it's a song that the children sing while they are in school. Meanwhile, the birds are all gathering outside. The teacher evacuates the school and then the birds attack the kids. The kids sing this song as the birds are all gathering around the school house. It's the only song in the actual movie, other than the opening credits. Hitchcock used this repitious song to create suspense as more and more birds gathered around the school. Does it ring a bell? I hope so because this song has been stuck in my head for years. Please tell me that I am not alone!


  4. #4

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    I remember the scene that you are talking about, just not the song.


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  5. #5

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Yeah, I always wondered what the heck that they were singing.

    It is quite the tongue-twister!

    Any idea where it came from? Was it an original score for the film?

    Thanks for posting!

  6. #6

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    How very strange - I just watched that movie last night!

    I've no idea about the origins of the song, just the timing of the post weirds me out.


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  7. #7

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    I remember it. That song gives me the willies.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    I am a Hitchcock fan - that is indeed a classic song, from one of his best movies...think I'll be looking at my Netflix queue, now....
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  9. #9

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    I remember it. It's a Scottish folk song which sometimes go by "The Cooper of Fife" and sometimes by "Risselty-Rosselty". This site has some info:
    http://www.glasgowguide.co.uk/wjmc/thwaawee.shtml

    It was recorded by Pete Seeger and you can hear a sample here:
    http://www.smithsonianglobalsound.or...px?itemid=5061

    This page has a link to an audio clip of the song in the movie:
    http://www.seahaas.com/thepit/hitchcock.html

  10. #10

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Cool lady3jane! Thanks for the links and the info!!




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  11. #11

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Sounds like a lovely little ditty about spousal abuse! Perfect for school children to sing...

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  12. #12

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aura of Foreboding
    I married my wife in the month of June. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now!
    I brought her off by the light of the moon. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!



    This line sounds very little like spousal abuse to me...Quite the opposite, by my interpretation.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    The story behind Risseldy Rosseldy is an interesting one. Screenwriter Evan Hunter needed the school-children to sing something in the scene, so he asked his daughter what she was currently singing in school. She suggested the tune, which was a great choice since it was an old Scottish folk-song, and therefore in the public domain.

    However, it became clear early on that the song was not nearly long enough for the scene, so Hunter padded it out by writing three all new verses. Much to his amusement, he still gets royalty checks from ASCAP for his re-writing of a Scottish folksong, featured in a film known for having no music!

  14. #14

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    Smile Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    My neighbors in rural Missouri used to have this song on one of the old records that they would occasionally get out and play on their victrola. It sounded pretty ancient already by then (in the 80's) . . . well, actually my neighbors were ancient by then, too. Not too many people still had usable victrolas leftover from their younger days as my neighbors did! But anyway, I have never heard the song again until a few years ago when I watched "The Birds" for the first time and was surprised to hear the children singing it. The song as it was played on Lawnie and Golden's victrola was quite lengthy, so I am not sure why Hitchcock would have needed to make up extra verses. (I just ran across your chat column because I was looking for the song on I-tunes, thinking it would be fun to find a copy for my kids-- but I didn't know the song title or who it was who sang it 'way back when.)

    Golden and Lawnie had another song that I think would be fun to locate . . . the main line that I remember is "I'll find out before I go/ Who broke the lock on the henhouse door." The singer used a voice that was intended to imitate barking dogs. Does anyone recognize this one?!

    On the rare occasions that my neighbors decided to crank up their victrola, they had a whole pile of old recods to play on it. I remember one particularly lugubrious song about the kidnapped Lindbergh baby-- well, specifically, about the little handprints on the window that his mother wouldn't wash away. I wouldn't really want to listen to that kind of fare on a regular basis!

  15. #15

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    Re: Interesting Song Lyrics from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

    Oops, forgot to say, the lyrics that I remember (and I don't remember them very well!) went something like this:

    "I married my wife in the month of June/
    Knickety-knackety now-now-now/
    and Courted her home by the light of the moon/
    Knickety-knackety hey-now-napperty Willapy-wollapy reskeplaplolopy/ Knickety-knackety now-now-now"

    Other verses included:
    "She combed her hair but once a year/ [refrain]/
    And every time it brought a tear" and

    "She cooked the [something] in her daddy's old shoe/
    And ate it all when she was through"

    There were several more verses. One of the last phrases was, "If you want anymore, you can sing it yourself/ [knickety-knackety, etc.]"
    Last edited by rose-gardenmom; 06-22-2006 at 03:20 PM.

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