'Good King Sauerkraut, Look Out'

Dateline: Thu 23 Dec 2010

Anyone who is fond of the old Walt Kelly comic strip Pogo has an appreciation of how brililant these old newspaper comics could be (starting, in my view, with Krazy Kat by George Herriman.)

Every year, we recall the "Deck us all with Boston Charlie," and so today I looked it up; complete lyrics follow.

But then I stumbled on one I'd never read -- really, much of Pogo was lost on me as a kid.

Here's another Christmas carol from the swamp:

"Good King Sauerkraut looked out,
On his feets uneven,
While the snoo lay round about,
All kerchoo acheiven."

From the website, "Whole Pop Magazine Online," Daniel Kravetz wrote:

"The song usually ran:

"Good King Sauerkraut, look out!
On yo' feets uneven.
While the snoo lay roun' about,
All kerchoo achievin'."

"There was never any more after that, at which point the following exchange would occur with whatever two characters were present:

"Gesundheit. Uh, what's 'snoo'?"
"I dunno. What's new with you?"

And onto our traditional fave:


Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker 'n' too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloupe, 'lope with you!

Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!

Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
Hinky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie,
Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie!
Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!

Fractured Christmas carols were a regular feature of Kelly's holiday strips. Churchy LaFemme once came up with a version of "Good King Wenceslas" that went: "Good King Sauerkraut, look out! On your feets uneven..." No question about it, Kelly was a genius. The lyrics to "Boston Charlie" and many of the strips in which the verses were introduced may be found in Outrageously Pogo (1985), edited by Mrs. Walt Kelly and Bill Crouch, Jr.


hendy [Member] said:

What fun! Brings back memories of ze-olde-days.

2010-12-23 16:34:06

ruthholl [Member] said:

Had you ever heard Good King Sauerkraut?
He just ruined one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I love him for it.

2010-12-23 17:10:57

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."

2010-12-23 20:38:30

whosear [Member] said:

Where are the good, pragmatic strips like, "There Ougha be a Law", BC, and Pogo?

2010-12-23 22:51:04

ruthholl [Member] said:

"LuAnn" is turning practically porno (brother's romance, shopping for lingerie).
At least we had "Calvin and Hobbs" for a while. That was another great one.

2010-12-24 01:11:59

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Reminds me of commonly-mis-heard prayers, rhymes and similar funnies.

Until I was 5 or 6, I thought we were praying to howard in church. Because:

"Our Father, who aren't in heaven, Howard be thy name."

I had an Uncle Howard. It all made sense at the time.

Thanks Ruthie. You know why. "No noise!"

Peas on earth.

2010-12-24 04:44:57

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Speaking of misheard hymns, there's our friend Gladly.

As in "Gladly, The Cross-Eyed Bear."

2010-12-24 06:55:51

howard smulevitz [unverified] said:

TTT, I would have granted your prayers, had I known you were calling.(Everybody now think of the kid thanking God in "Animal House
My wife has been using the "what's snoo" line as a "Knock,knock" joke with our kids and grandkids forever. Heck, she used it with me and our friends when were dating. But she is surprised that it may have started with Walt Kelly.
And we probably could use a revival of "I go Pogo" during the vicious presidential campaigns these days.

2010-12-24 14:00:34

ellen mckinney [unverified] said:

does anybody else remember the swipes at pogo that lil abner took? remember "joanie phoanie"? and the rickey rat wristwatches?

mallard fillmore just wishes he could be as good/bad.

2010-12-24 19:57:38

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Great call-back, Ellen. Walt Kelly had few equals.

Doonesbury used to be as good. The evil twin of George HW Bush, Skipper, was priceless. His continuing parodies of Hunter Thompson are unreal.

2010-12-25 07:18:56

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ruthie, honey, john2 had too much Christmas cheer. He's back.

A cyberGrinch.

2010-12-26 06:04:23

ruthholl [Member] said:

OMY, I killed john2.
But then he's a bot.

2010-12-26 14:29:31

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Evidently john2's older brother stppped in to fill the "void."

2010-12-27 04:45:30

Comments are closed.


or Register


Syndicate Blog