I recently came across a truly, wonderfully odd record, one which ties in to my early childhood. The story begins with a children’s record that I’ve known my entire life. Released on the Cricket label, and credited to the Cricketone Chorus and Orchestra, it’s called "The Little Dutch Girl". Although far from the most memorable children’s record in the vast collection that was acquired on behalf of my sister, brother and me by our parents, this one for some reason became a favorite of mine. There is even a recording of me, at about age four, singing the song, despite the fact that I was neither Dutch nor a girl. (If I could have quickly put my fingers on that recording, I’d have included it, too). Here is that record:
Cricketone Chorus and Orchestra - The Little Dutch Girl (MP3)
Astute listeners will perhaps notice that, as on so many children’s records of that era, the billing is a little overstated. The "Orchestra" consists primarily of organ, clarinet and celesta (or the like), and that the "Chorus" is but two singers, who later sing with a group of children. The song also seems quite unresolved, in that the girl’s boyfriend is, at the end of the song, professing his love to another girl, with no apparent hard feelings involved. An internet search indicates this song to be a song known around the English speaking world, often used in clapping and jump rope games. I found literally dozens of versions of this song, but none with the exact lyrics used on this record.
Understand that I know this record as well as any record ever released, and can't remember a time that I didn’t know it by heart. So it was a mouth-dropping-open moment for me when I put on the following , utterly bizarre 45. I have no idea where or when I bought it - it was in a stack about 100 45’s that I had sitting, waiting for me to get the chance to listen to them, when I finally heard it, about a month ago. It’s by the Jackson Jills, released in 1963, and is called "Pretty Little Dutch Girl". It takes the same song, moves it far past the Cricket version, and into the land of you’ve-never-heard-a-record-quite-like-this-before. Enjoy!
The Jackson Jills - Pretty Little Dutch Girl (MP3)
Aside from the truly wondrous last 40 seconds of that record, there are a few other things I just love, including the line "I gave Billy 50 cents to take me to the show", and Billy’s later response to the Dutch Girl’s behavior, specifically "you’re so gentle and so sweet". And yes, the record does really end like that.
And they buried this on the b-side of the single! Imagine that. For those who might be interested, here is the A-side of the single, a rewrite of the song "Shortnin’ Bread" titled "Mommie’s Little Baby".
The Jackson Jills - Mommie’s Little Baby (MP3)
In an interesting coincidence, the production and writing on both sides of this record are credited to radio and advertising legend Chuck Blore, whose Award Winning Ad Presentation I posted here, about five months ago!