K-K-K-Katy

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Cover of the original publication by Leo Faust in New York, 1918

"K-K-K-Katy" was a popular World War I-era song written by Geoffrey O'Hara in 1917 and published in 1918. The sheet music advertised it as "The Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by the Soldiers and Sailors". The song tells the story of Jimmy, a young soldier "brave and bold" who stuttered when he tried to speak to girls. Finally he managed to talk to Katy, the "maid with hair of gold". The chorus is what he spoke:

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.
Performed by Billy Murray (recorded in 1918)

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"K-K-K-Katy" was recorded by Billy Murray on March 8, 1918 and released on Victor 18455.

The song was covered by Mel Blanc in his Porky Pig voice (1949), with some vocalists backing him. The song can be heard on the compilation album Mel Blanc: The Man of 1000 Voices (2007).

In 1963 an implied reference was made to it in newspaper headlines. Reporting Sandy Koufax's then-record World Series pitching performance of 15 strikeouts (scoring symbol "K"), some newspapers bannered the story with "K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-K-KOUFAX!"

The song is also mentioned in Dennis Potter's play Blue Remembered Hills, which was first seen on BBC TV in January 1979. The play is about a group of seven year-old children (played by adults) who spend a summer's day in 1943 playing in the woods. Raymond, a child with a stammer, is mocked by the other children, who taunt him several times during the play by singing lines from "K-K-K-Katy".

Katie, the 1987 debut album of post-punk group Bodhitrees, featured a humorous cover of the song to conclude the album.

Additionally, the political-humor group Capitol Steps performed a parody of this song entitled "K-K-Kuwaitis", about the 1990 invasion of Kuwait which began the Gulf War. The song was released on their 1990 album Sheik, Rattle & Roll!.

The "Yriekay" movement of P.D.Q. Bach's Missa Hilarious includes a section with the text "K-K-K-Kyrie eleison", in reference to this song.

References[edit]

  • Who Wrote that Song Dick Jacobs & Harriet Jacobs, published by Writer's Digest Books, 1993

Additional Reading[edit]

  • Leo Feist, Inc. Songs the Soldiers and Sailors Sing!: A Collection of Favorite Songs As Sung by the Soldiers and Sailors - "Over Here" and "Over There," Including Complete Choruses (Words and Music) of 36 of the Most Popular and Most Sung "Newer" Songs. New York, N.Y.: Leo. Feist, 1918. OCLC 24169456
  • Parker, Bernard S. World War I Sheet Music: 9,670 Patriotic Songs Published in the United States, 1914-1920, with More Than 400 Covers Illustrated. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006. ISBN 0-786-42493-1 OCLC 225972248
  • Vogel, Frederick G. World War I Songs: A History and Dictionary of Popular American Patriotic Tunes, with Over 300 Complete Lyrics. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1995. ISBN 0-899-50952-5 OCLC 32241433

External links[edit]