Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)
|"Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)"|
|Single by Barry Mann|
|B-side||"Love, True Love"|
Bubblegum pop (Sugaryline version)
"Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" is a doo-wop style hit song from 1961 co-written (with Gerry Goffin) and recorded by Barry Mann. The song was originally released as a single on the ABC-Paramount label (10237).
In this song, Mann sings about the frequent use of nonsense lyrics in doo-wop music, and how his girl fell in love with him after listening to several such songs.
Examples of the type of song referred to include the Marcels' version of "Blue Moon" (in which they sing "Bomp bomp ba bomp, ba bomp ba bomp bomp" and "dip-de-dip-de-dip") and the Edsels' "Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong", both of which charted earlier the same year. The spoken part is a reference to the song "Little Darlin'" by the Diamonds. "Boogidy shoo" can be found in the lyrics to "Pony Time" by Chubby Checker, released earlier that year. Mann was backed up by The Halos, a doo-wop group of its own renown that had a single top-40 hit with "Nag" and also sang on Curtis Lee's hit "Pretty Little Angel Eyes."
The song inspired the title of an eponymous music magazine.
The song fits into the category of "self-referential" songs. Rock songs are often about rock, reggae songs about reggae, rap songs about rap, etc. In this particular song that aspect is accentuated by the fact that Mann is a songwriter singing about songwriters.
The single debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 on August 7, 1961, and remained for twelve weeks, peaking at #7. Mann's version did not chart in the UK, though a cover version by the Viscounts reached # 21 there in September, 1961, and another version by Showaddywaddy charted at # 37 in August 1982.
In popular culture
The song has been covered or referenced by:
- The Viscounts (on the album Who Put the Bomp—The Pye Anthology) (1961)
- Showaddywaddy, "Who put the Bomp in the Bomp a Bomp a Bomp a Bomp" (1982)
- Sharon, Lois & Bram on their 1995 album Let's Dance!
- The Overtones on their 2013 album Saturday Night at the Movies
- Bobby and Jerry ("We're the guys" who put the bomp...)
- The Heebee-jeebees (on their live album Surgical Strike)
- Jan and Dean (who claim "We put the bomp...")
- Le Tigre ("Who took the bomp?" is incorporated into Deceptacon on their self-titled album Le Tigre)
- Frankie Lymon (who claims "I put the bomp...", and opens the song with the "Oo-wah, oo-wah" that opened his hit song with the Teenagers, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love")
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (on the album Blow in the Wind)
- The Muppets
- The Real Group (on their album Debut)
- The Wurzels
- Ol' 55 on their album, The Vault (1980).
A parody, "Who'll Put a Bomb on Saddam Saddam Saddam" was introduced in the political satirists Capitol Steps' 1990 album, Sheik, Rattle and Roll. A later parody titled "Who put the Bomb in Tehran, Tehran, Tehran" was produced by Capitol Steps and included in their book Sixteen Scandals and the accompanying CD.
The song "We Go Together" in the Broadway musical and subsequent film Grease includes a similar mix of nonsensical lyrics. The versions of "We Go Together" on the 1993 London cast recording and movie soundtrack include a bit of "Who Put the Bomp" sung in counterpoint at the end.
A parody titled "Who Put the Mush" was written and performed by The McCalmans. In an inversion of the original song, the singer's girlfriend leaves him due to the nonsense lyrics in his folk music. It was released in 1994 on the album Songs From Scotland.
The song was parodied by Bob Rivers as "Who Put the Stump?", involving, from the perspective of an angel on top of a Christmas tree, the tree being inserted up the angel's rectum. The lyrics include "Who put the stump in my rump ba-bump ba-bump".
The song is referenced in Swedish comedy group Grotesco's sketch "The Trial", a parody of American courtroom dramas in which the characters speak broken English without subtitles for a confused Swedish audience.
- Marsh, Dave, The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, 1999, Da Capo Press; ISBN 0-306-80901-X
- Top Pop Singles 1955-1996, © 1997, Record Research Inc.; ISBN 0-89820-122-5
- Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks - The Arthur Crier Story
- Perhaps with good reason: their version of "Heart and Soul", released earlier the same year, features their added lyrics "Bom ba bom, bom ba dip, da dip, dip..."
- Strauss, William (Bill) and Newport, Elaina, Sixteen Scandals: 20 Years of Sex, Lies and Other Habits of Our Great Leaders, 2002, Sourcebooks MediaFusion; ISBN 1-57071-890-3.
- Susannes Folksong Notizen - English Notes - Who Put The Mush, accessed 2013-09-22
- All Music - Who Put The Mush, accessed 2013-09-22
- 'Rump' Song Got Us Suspended, Central Florida DJs Say, Orlando News. The lyrics are available on Rivers' web site