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Ethel Waters "That Da Da Strain" | UbuWeb Ethnopoetics



1. That Da Da Strain (1'33")



That Da Da Strain

Transcribed from vocals by Ethel Waters, recorded5/1922.
From Ethel Waters 1921 - 1923, The Chronogical Classics, vol. 796.

Have you heard it, have you heard it,
That Da Da Strain?
It will shake you, it will make you
Really go insane.
Everybody's full of pep,
Makes you watch your every step.
Every prancer, every dancer,
Starts to lay 'em down,
Everybody when they hear it
Starts to buzzing 'round;
I get crazy as a loon,
When everybody hums this tune:

Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Because the feeling
Sets your brain a-reeling;
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
When everybody starts to
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
I want to do it once again,
I'm simply wild about that Da-Da,Da-Da Strain!

Oh, Da-Da Da-Da
Da-Da Da-Da,
Because this feeling
Sets your brain a'reeling,
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
When everybody starts to Da-Da,Da-Da, Da, Da-Da
I want to do it once again,
I'm simply wild about the Da-Da,Da-Da Strain.

Da, Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
Because that feeling
Sets your brain a-reeling.
Just like you're falling,
That runabout refrain, [?]
Oh, Da-Da, Da-Da,
Da-Da, Da-Da,
I wanna do it once again,
I'm simply wild about that
Da-Da, Da-Da Strain!


This text, with accompanying recording, makes a curious & little noticed connection to the European Dada activities that immediately preceded it. The melody, minus words, became a traditional jazz standard that persisted over the next several decades. The composers, when credited, are generally given as Mamie Medina (lyrics) & Edgar Dowell (music). More recently the title was used for a series of poems & performances by Jerome Rothenberg, but without reference to the lyrics themselves. (See http://www.ubu.com/sound/rothenberg.html.)






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