An extremely light diversion: 4 completely different songs titled — variously spelled —  "La Dee Dah"

The most familiar one to me is this — on the first 4 Seasons album. Much as I've loved the 4 Seasons in my time, I've got to promote the Billy and Lillie version from 1958:

This is a silly song, with lyrics that include: "La dee dah, oh boy/Let's go/Cha, cha, cha/I feel so fine/Now that you are mine...." Excellent candy.

I'm not sure if I remember the Ringo song "La De Da" — spelled like that. This is from 1998, from his 11th album:

This too is pretty silly, with lyrics like "La la de da, like que sera sera/Whatever la de da, la de da/All you got to say is la de da." Okay. Ringo. It's Ringo. What can you say? It's easiest to quietly love him.

Then there's a Foo Fighters song from 2017. The spelling here spelled "La Dee Da." This lacks the la-dee-dah feeling of Billy and Lillie and Ringo, with lyrics like: "Hate if I want to, hate/Psychic Television and Death in June/Jim Jones painting in a blue bedroom." Listen to it here if you like. Whatever their problem is. I choose to pass that one by.

But the really striking la-dee-dah song is "Lah-Di-Dah" — and let me say, that's my favorite spelling — by this English guy Jake Thackray, whom I had never heard of:

I hope you made it past his long introduction! Wikipedia says: "John Philip "Jake" Thackray (27 February 1938 – 24 December 2002) was an English singer-songwriter, poet and journalist. Best known in the late 1960s and early 1970s for his topical comedy songs performed on British television, his work ranged from satirical to bawdy to sentimental to pastoral, with a strong emphasis on storytelling, making him difficult to categorise."

This "Lah-Di-Dah" is an elaborately written song about loving a woman enough to put up with her awful family. The lyrics include:
I'll be nice to your mother
I'll come all over lah-di-dah
Although she always gets up me nose
I love you very much
And so I'll smile and I'll acquiesce
When she invites me to caress
Her scabby cat
I'll sit still while she knits
And witters, cross my heart
And I shan't lay a finger on the crabby old batface
That's one of 5 verses. I had to look up "witters." It's Scottish dialect, and it means "To chatter or mutter; to grumble; to speak with annoying lengthiness on trivial matters." What a useful word!

Anyway, what blew my mind is that it was covered as a duet by Petula Clark — who has a lovely voice — and Rod McKuen — who just really isn't even a singer:

I can see that there are clearly at least 2 completely different meanings for "la-di-da." I know that's another spelling, but I'm looking it up in the OED now, where it says the word is onomatopoeic, ridiculing the "swell" manner of speech. It's a "A derisive term for one who affects gentility." The British also say "lardy-dardy." This is the meaning I grew up with, except that I encountered it as an adjective. It meant pretentiously fancy. So I was confused by the usage in the movie "Annie Hall":

There, you see it's a mild, almost meaningless interjection — similar to "oh, my" or "gosh" — basically, ah, well, what are you going to do. I think you can put Ringo, Billy and Lillie, and Foo Fighters in the "Annie Hall" category. Only Jake Thackray has the OED meaning.

Well, enough of that. I hope you enjoyed being distracted from the troubles of this crazy world for a few minutes. Here, I'll let you vote on your favorite la-di-da:

Please listen first, then pick one: free polls

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