Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?)
|"Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?)"|
|Single by Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group|
late-January 1959 (United Kingdom);21 July 1961 (United States)
|Format||7" (45RPM and 78RPM)|
|Recorded||New Theatre Oxford, 13 December 1958|
|Genre||Skiffle, novelty song|
|Label||Pye Nixa (UK)
|Writer(s)||Marty Bloom/Ernest Breuer/Billy Rose|
|Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group singles chronology|
"Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?)" is a novelty song by Lonnie Donegan. Released as a single in 1959, it entered the UK Singles Chart on 6 February 1959 and peaked at number 3. It was also Donegan's greatest chart success in the United States, reaching number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961.
The song is a cover version of "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?" written by Billy Rose, Ernest Breuer, and Marty Bloom and first released in 1924 by The Happiness Boys (Ernie Hare and Billy Jones), and later a hit for Lulu Belle and Scotty and The Two Gilberts. The song is humorous in content, the verses each describing a dramatic or urgent scenario leading up to the asking of the titular question.
The title and lyrics of the Donegan version were changed in the UK because "Spearmint" is a registered trademark there, and the BBC would not play songs that mentioned trademarks. Donegan's version of the song was recorded live at the New Theatre Oxford in December 1958 and was released both as a single as a track on the album King of Skiffle. An extended version with more banter was released on the live album The Last Tour.
Since Donegan's version was released, it has appeared as a Smarties jingle, a performance on The Muppet Show, and re-worked into Czech by Jiří Grossmann. Additional versions of the song were recorded by The Irish Rovers and Homer & Jethro. In Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the character Randle Patrick McMurphy also sings a few lines of this song to prove that Chief Bromden is not deaf by making him laugh at the performance. In 2010, Donegan's version was used as the background song for a satellite TV advertisement for Savlon antiseptic cream. It has also been recorded by Eric Nagler (on his 1982 children's album Fiddle Up a Tune); Ray Stevens covers the song as part of his 9-CD, 108 song box set The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music (2012).
"Does Your Chewing Gum..." has been a popular song on the Dr. Demento Show, appearing 54 times between the show's premiere and 2006 and selected for the Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection double CD.
It has made an appearances on children's television shows, such as Sharon, Lois, & Bram's Elephant Show, Kidsongs and Barney & Friends. The song "Does The Spearmint..." appears in one episode of HBO's series Boardwalk Empire.
U.S. chart run
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- "The Last Tour > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Folk Music Index: Dip to Dom
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- Heather Phares. "Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Wosahla, Steve (18 September 2016). "Bruce Springsteen's Serenade for an Uneasy America". No Depression. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Whitburn, Joel (1997). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. p. 175. ISBN 0-89820-122-5.
- Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 172.