Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)

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"Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)"
Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp) sleeve.jpg
Single by Barry Mann
from the album Who Put the Bomp
B-side"Love, True Love"
RecordedJune 21, 1961[1]
StudioBrill Building
Novelty song
Bubblegum pop (Sugaryline version)

"Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" is a doo-wop style novelty song from 1961 co-written (with Gerry Goffin) and recorded by Barry Mann. It 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")[2] and The Edsels' "Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong", both of which charted earlier the same year.[3] The spoken section is a reference to the song "Little Darlin'" by the Diamonds.[citation needed] "Boogidy shoo" can be found in the lyrics to "Pony Time" by Chubby Checker, released earlier that year.[citation needed] Mann was backed up by the Halos,[4] 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.[citation needed]

It fits into the category of "self-referential" songs, in that it is a song about the genre it belongs to, in this case doo-wop. This is accentuated by the fact that Mann is a songwriter singing about songwriters.

Chart performance[edit]

The single debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 on August 7, 1961, and remained for twelve weeks, peaking at #7.[3] Mann's version did not chart in the UK, though a cover version by the Viscounts reached #21 there in September 1961. The Viscounts' record was in turn covered by comedians Morecambe and Wise, with the same melody and modified lyrics ("We put the Bomp in the..."); the record was titled "We're the Guys (Who Drive Your Baby Wild)".

A newer version, by Showaddywaddy, charted at #37 in August 1982.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The song has been recorded or referenced by:

  • Buchanan and Goodman used a sample of the song in their break-in 1961 novelty record "Berlin Top Ten", and also quoted the line that a party official's daughter confessed to putting the "Rama in the Rama Lama Ding Dong", causing the rocket to explode, causing her to be sent to Siberia.
  • The Re-Bops, a kids' band from Vermont, covered it on the 1991 album, Raised on Rock and Roll.
  • Morgan Rosenberg's parody, "Who Was That Kid", about getting in trouble, from Lollipoprock 2
  • 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..."[6])
  • Le Tigre ("Who took the Bomp from the Bompalompalomp" is incorporated into Deceptacon on their 1999 debut 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 Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
  • 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, "Who put the Bomb in Tehran, Tehran, Tehran", was produced by Capitol Steps and included in their book Sixteen Scandals and accompanying CD.[7]
  • 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.
  • In the Full House episode "Joey Goes Hollywood" (Season 4, episode 23), the song is sung by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in the pilot for Surf's Up, a fictitious TV show.
  • A parody, "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.[8] It was released in 1994 on the album Songs from Scotland.[9]
  • Bentley Rhythm Ace had a track called "Who Put the Bom in the Bom Bom Diddleye Bom" on their debut album.
  • The audio introduction at the Boston Museum of Science's Mugar Omni Theater includes actor and Boston native Leonard Nimoy reciting the first two lines of the chorus of "Who Put the Bomp".
  • The song was parodied by Bob Rivers as "Who Put the Stump?", written from the perspective of an angel on top of a Christmas tree, involving the tree being inserted up the angel's rectum. The lyrics include "Who put the stump in my rump ba-bump ba-bump".[10]
  • 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) to a confused Swedish audience.
  • In July 2017 fictional UK comedy character Alan Partridge selected the track as one of his favourite ever songs (along with the theme tune to the BBC sports show Grandstand) in a feature for the Radio 4 show Inheritance Tracks.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". members.home.nl. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Marsh, Dave, The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, 1999, Da Capo Press; ISBN 0-306-80901-X
  3. ^ a b Top Pop Singles 1955-1996, © 1997, Record Research Inc.; ISBN 0-89820-122-5
  4. ^ "Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks - The Arthur Crier Story". Home.att.net.
  5. ^ "everyHit.com - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". Everyhit.com.
  6. ^ 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..."
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Who Put The Mush". Mysongbook.de. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  9. ^ "Who Put the Mush - The McCalmans | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  10. ^ 'Rump' Song Got Us Suspended, Central Florida DJs Say, Orlando News. The lyrics are available on Rivers' website