Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang

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Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang by the New Zealand band Monte Video and the Cassettes was a hit single of 1982 and 1983. The single appeared on the 1983 album Monte Video (Mushroom Records) [1]

To celebrate the song 20 years after its release, a cover of the song was done in 2002 by a New Zealand band, Spacial Verb, featuring employees of the then New Zealand radio station, Channel Z.

The story in the song[edit]

The song is hard to understand without viewing the video.

The man goes to the bar and meets a girl. The girl takes a liking to him. They start to get closer and when he gets to the close dancing stage of the night, he gets a nasty fright. Apparently he has picked up a transvestite. By then it is too late, and the transvestite is dominant and aggressive and won't let him go. The subject tries to make excuses to get out of having to go. The video shows a number of transvestites in the bar using body language to convey threats of physical violence should he try to reject the offer of sex. The subject then tried to make excuses and evade the transvestite, but he does end up (submissively) going off in a car with the transvestite.

The Spacial Verb/ Channel Z version of the video and song exclude gang mentality, and show only the one transvestite as being aggressive and violent, but in this version the bar is exclusively full of transvestites (apart from staff and band), making the humour more obvious: it's absurd that a heterosexual man would mistake that bar for a good place to meet women.

Its dark humour, with a similar (but not exactly the same) situation used for comedy in various movies such as Police Academy.

Explanation of the song[edit]

The chorus is the 8 words of the title. The chorus is repeated many times, including during verses.

There are three verses.

The first verse is the most like a song, but it is close to being spoken word. This is the attempt to clarify the meaning of title, which is about the phases in meeting someone at a dance club with the view for initiating passionate dancing (if not sex).

Well the Shoop Shoop stands for the mood you're in
And the Diddy Wop means let the fun begin
It's a feeling gonna set your senses reeling and you can't sit still
Cumma Cumma mean what you thought, That's right
And the Wang Dang gonna get you through the night time
Baby there's a right time if you wanna lose control

The definitions as provided by the video (which may be approximate to the authors' original meanings) seem to be

  • Shoop Shoop—singing and dancing at a distance
  • Diddy Wop—drinking together
  • Cumma Cumma—dancing together, with some touching...
  • Wang Dang—close dancing

The second verse relates an actual experience meeting a girl, and reverts to spoken word, describing the four phases as they happened with this girl. It transpires that he was shocked by the Cumma Cumma and couldn't describe the Wang Dang, and the video explains that this is because the subject has unknowingly met a transvestite.

The third verse is spoken word and are the words of the subject that match the actions of the people shown in the video. The subject changes from trying to outright reject his partner, to trying to delay and distract, and then trying excuses to make the transvestite feel bad about being pushy ("What sort of girl do you think I am ?"), with the video showing them going off together, as if they were going somewhere private to have sex.

The use of the word "girl" in the third verse is the only element in the lyrics that tells you the girl he approached and danced with must be a transvestite.

Chart success[edit]

  • No 2. in the New Zealand Singles Charts
  • No 11. in the Australian National Singles Charts
  • The song was re-released in the UK in 1983 but did not achieve notable chart success


External links[edit]