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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pffft You Were Gone - The Shocking Secret Origins of "Where Oh Where Are You Tonight?"

Gordie Tapp and Archie Campbell singing their signature Hee Haw song.

Here's a weird bit of trivia I stumbled over a couple of years ago.  Apparently the classic Archie Campbell Hee Haw duet "Where Oh Where Are You Tonight" (shown in the video below) with it's classic "Pfffft you were gone" ending actually came from seriously more serious roots. The original song is credited to one Susan Heather (a pseudonym used by Marian B. Yarneall). The song was copyrighted in 1952 and 1965 by Mamy Music Corp out of Paoli, Pa. Miss Yarneall seems to have written this thing as a serious Gospel song originally. Also apparently, it seems not to have caught on in churches and revival meetings across the Bible Belt as Miss Yarneall had hoped. I am not shocked!

Almost inevitably, some country comedians like Homer & Jethro, Archie Campbell and Buck Owens parodied this irresistable song and the rest is history. But here for your entertainment are the original lyrics. I have yet to get through it as a serious song without cracking up. I bet my Primaries would have loved it though.

(original Gospel version)

Where, oh, where, where would I be?
Without my Jesus comforting me
For I'll sing his praises as I travel on
Today, tomorrow, till phfft! you are gone.

1. Take money or God, you can't serve two masters
     For you will love one, the other you'll hate
    And that is the cause of this world's disasters
     Make up your mind now, before it's too late.


2.  We don't break God's laws, but we break against them
     Remember this friends, as life moves along
     Can't you hear the voice of youth out there asking?
     "Why do you do what you tell us is wrong?"


3.  Each time that you give, don't get up and shout it
     For He always knows what good deeds you do
     You'll get your reward, there's no doubt about it
     He sees in secret and He will pay you.


Song Lyrics © 1952 by Mamy Music Corp.

Article © 2016 by Tom King

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