A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

What are the lyrics to Walt Kelly's classic carol, "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie"?

March 20, 1981

Dear Cecil:

Walt Kelly's old comic strip "Pogo" had an unusual version of the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls." I've tried to remember all the lyrics, but I'm not convinced I've succeeded. So far I have:

Deck the halls with Boston Charlie
Fod-a-rod-a-rol (etc)
Nora's freezing on the trolley,
Walla-walla-bash and Kalamazoo.

Is this complete? Is there more? Am I missing something?

Cecil replies:

No doubt, Bill, although whether this is a congenital problem or a tragic consequence of last month's lobotomy column we may never know. According to Kelly's posthumous chroniclers, there were six complete verses for "Boston Charlie":

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.

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