I'm a Little Teapot

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"I'm a Little Teapot"
The Teapot Song sheet music cover
sheet music cover
Song by George Harry Sanders and Clarence Kelley
Released1939
GenreChildren's music
LabelKelman Music Corporation
Songwriter(s)George Harry Sanders and Clarence Kelley

"I'm a Little Teapot" is an American novelty song describing the heating and pouring of a teapot or a whistling tea kettle. The song was originally written by George Harold Sanders and Clarence Z. Kelley and published in 1939.[1] By 1941, a Newsweek article referred to the song as "the next inane novelty song to sweep the country".[2]

Creation[edit]

Kelley and his wife ran a dance school for children, which taught the "Waltz Clog", a popular and easy-to-learn tap dance routine. This routine, however, proved too difficult for the younger students to master. To solve this problem, George Sanders wrote The Teapot Song, which required minimal skill and encouraged natural pantomime. Both the song and its accompanying dance, the "Teapot Tip", became enormously popular in America and overseas.[3]

The song was recorded and made famous by Art Kassel and His Kassels in the Air orchestra with featured vocalist Marion Holmes singing the tune. It was published in 1941 by Bluebird Records.[4] (Marion Holmes soon after married Broadway, film, and TV star Don DeFore.)

The lyrics begin "I'm a little teapot, short and stout..." and go on to further describe the appearance and actions of the singer-as-teapot.[5] The song may be accompanied with actions: extending one arm in a curve like the spout, placing the other arm like the handle, and bending sideways to pour.[citation needed]

A piano recording of "I'm a Little Teapot", in which the vocals are played by the higher melody

Recordings[edit]

"I'm a Little Teapot" has been recorded by a number of artists, particularly on children's albums.[6] It's been released as a single by various artists besides Kassel, including Horace Heidt (1941),[7] Lawrence Duchow's Red Raven Orchestra (1956),[8] and Two Ton Baker (1947).[9] It's included on Leonard Bernstein's 1973 album Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf plus 10 More Great Children's Favorites. [10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanders, Ronald (January 1972). Reflections on a Teapot, the Personal History of a Time. Harper & Row, New York. ISBN 978-0-06-013754-0.
  2. ^ Newsweek (1941), Vol. 18, p. 10.
  3. ^ Clark, Garth (October 2001). The Artful Teapot. Watson-Guptill. ISBN 0-8230-0319-1.
  4. ^ view Bluebird Record label
  5. ^ "George Harry Sanders - the Teapot Song (I'm a Little Teapot) lyrics".
  6. ^ "Exploring i'm a little teapot". Discogs. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  7. ^ "Horace Heidt And His Musical Knights - 78 RPM - Discography". 45 Worlds. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  8. ^ "I'm A Little Teapot / Hey, Diddle Diddle" at Discogs
  9. ^ "I Wuv A Wabbit / I'm A Little Teapot" at Discogs
  10. ^ Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf plus 10 More Great Children's Favorites at Discogs