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WITCH DOCTOR (David Seville) 1958 original version02:24

WITCH DOCTOR (David Seville) 1958 original version

1958 version

"Witch Doctor," released in 1958 as a single, is a song originally written and performed by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. Bagdasarian, the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, is better remembered by his stage name, David Seville. Later in the franchise, The Chipmunks would perform in various cover versions of his hit song.

Original Lyrics

I told the witch doctor I was in love with you
I told the witch doctor I was in love with you
And then the witch doctor, he told me what to do
He said that

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

I told the witch doctor you didn't love me true
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me nice
And then the witch doctor, he gave me this advice
He said that

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

You've been keeping love from me
Just like you were a miser
And I'll admit I wasn't very smart
So I went out and found myself
A guy that's so much wiser
And he taught me the way to win your heart

My friend the witch doctor, he taught me what to say
My friend the witch doctor, he taught me what to do
I know that you'll be mine when I say this to you

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

You've been keeping love from me
Just like you were a miser
And I'll admit I wasn't very smart
So I went out and found myself
A guy that's so much wiser
And he taught me the way to win your heart

My friend the witch doctor, he taught me what to say
My friend the witch doctor, he taught me what to do
I know that you'll be mine when I say this to you
Oh baby

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang

(Repeat 3x)

Song Information

Witch Doctor 45EP Cover

The song tells the story of a man who loved a woman who did not return his affections. Longing for her companionship, the man went to see a witch doctor for advice on the situation. The wise witch doctor offered his advice saying, "Oo ee, oo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang" (which is repeated four times as the chorus of the song). At the middle of the song the man tells the woman he loves about his asking the witch doctor for advice.

The "witch doctor" was in fact Bagdasarian's own voice sped up to double speed, a technique he would later exploit to create Alvin and the Chipmunks (and had also used on at least one other pre-Chipmunk song, "The Bird on My Head"). Because of this, it is often referred to (even in later compilations) as the first song by The Chipmunks; this is not precisely true. For one, only one sped-up "chipmunk" voice is featured instead of three. Furthermore, Bagdasarian (as Seville) insisted that it was not technically a Chipmunks song in an episode of The Alvin Show when he exclaims "I made that record once!" and Alvin responds "But not with us!" The first true song by the "group" was "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)".

Chart Performance

Credited as David Seville on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, the single was considered a major surprise hit on the charts where it peaked at #1, stayed at #1 for two weeks and became Seville's first #1 single. The single also peaked at #1 on the Billboard Black Singles Chart and on the Cash Box chart as well. The single sold over 1 million copies in the United States. The song was nominated for a Grammy award in 1959 but didn't win it.[1]

Chipmunk Versions

Lyrics by Version

Chris Classic:
Yeah!
In the place to be!
Chipmunks on the M-I-C!
Witch Doctor!

Everybody, can they do it?

Female Singers:
Can they do it?

Chris Classic:
Come on people, let's get to it

Female Singers:
Let's get to it

Chris Classic:
Come on shake some, come on roll
Everybody hit the floor
Come on shake some, come on roll
With the Chipmunks

Chris Classic & Female Singers:
Here we go!

Alvin:
I told the witch doctor I was in love with you (ooh, ooh)
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me too (ooh, ooh)
And then the witch doctor he told me what to do, he said that

The Chipmunks:
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang to walla walla bing bang (oh yeah)
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang (walla walla bing bang)

Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang to walla walla bing bang (oh, yeah)
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang (whoa, whoa)

Alvin:
Yo, DJ, pump this party!

Chris Classic:
Everybody can they do it?

Female Singers:
Can they do it? (go, go, go, go!)

Chris Classic:
Come on people let's get to it

Female Singers:
Let's get to it (go, go, go, go!)

Chris Classic:
Come on shake some, come on roll
Everybody hit the floor
Come on shake some, come on roll
With the Chipmunks

Chris Classic & Female Singers:
Here we go

Chris Classic:
Alvin! Simon! Theodore!

Simon:
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me too (ooh, ooh)
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me nice (ooh, ooh)
And then the witch doctor he gave me this advice, he said to

Chris Classic:
Ooh eeh, come on, ooh aah

Simon:
Oh, tell me what it is

The Chipmunks:
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang to walla walla bing bang
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang (ohh)

Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang to walla walla bing bang
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang (walla walla bing bang)

Female Singers:
Yeah, you've been keeping love from me
And that's not very smart

The Chipmunks:
Not very smart

Female Singers:
So I went out and found myself
Someone who'd tell me

Female Singers & The Chipmunks:
How to win a heart

Theodore:
Yeah
My friend the witch doctor he told me what to say (ooh, ohh)
My friend the witch doctor he told me what to do (ooh, ohh)
I know that you'll be mine when I say this to you
Whoa, whoa, oh baby, baby

Chris Classic:
Everybody can they do it?

Female Singers:
Can they do it? (go, go, go, go!)

Chris Classic:
Come on people let's get to it

Female Singers:
Let's get to it (go, go, go, go!)

Chris Classic:
Come on shake some, come on roll
Everybody hit the floor
Come on shake some, come on roll
With the Chipmunks

Chris Classic & Female Singers:
Here we go

The Chipmunks:
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang to walla walla bing bang (bing bang)
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang

(Bing...wallawalla bingbang)
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang the walla walla bing bang
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang (oh, yeah)

Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang the walla walla bing bang
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang

("Go" repeats until end of song)

Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
To the ting to the tang the walla walla bing bang
Ooh to the eeh to ooh to aah aah
Ting tang walla walla bing bang

Cover Versions

  • The first cover version was done in 1958 by the British musician Don Lang and succeeded to the UK Top 10. Since its release, the song has been covered by several bands, including Sha Na Na and the Danish band Cartoons in 1998. The Cartoons' cover was also featured in the Dance Dance Revolution series, starting with DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution 6thMix (A loosely based song interpreted by Banya was also featured in the Pump It Up Dancing Game). It was also sung in Spanish by Manuel "El Loco" Valdes (Tin Tan's brother) in a movie.
  • There was also a version of the song included in the compilation album call Doo Wop Halloween Is A Scream by Frankie & Fashions.[2]
  • A modified version was also used in a commercial for Tab soda, with "ting tang" being replaced by "Tab taste".
  • The song was also used in a commercial for the Nintendo game Dr. Mario.
  • In the episode "The Bend In The River" of The A-Team, Murdock wears a mask, singing the song to himself and B. A. Baracus.
  • Kidz Bop covered this song on the 2004 album Kidz Bop Halloween.[3]

References

  1. May 1959 Grammy Awards, Awardsandshows.com, Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  2. Album Back Cover, Amazon.com, Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  3. Track Listing, Amazon.com, Retrieved 2013-08-13.

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