The way-back machine #3

Last night’s trip back into the 70’s courtesy of Casey Kasem and the Sirius 70’s station brought us to Oct 21, 1972.  I was a mere lad of twelve, sporting a goofy haircut and big ass teardrop cokebottle bottom glasses.  But then so was everyone else my age; I almost kinda-sorta fit in with the crowd.  The number one song that week reminds me of a license plate.  (Heltch, you’re not gonna believe me, but call her and you’ll see I”m right.) 

There was a hurricane that fall: Hurricane Agnes.  She blew up the northeastern seaboard and swamped most of north central Pennsylvania and southwestern New York state.  The Chemung River flooded Elmira, Horseheads, and points west.  That river feeds the Susquehanna River which turns south.  The Susquehanna runs through Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania and flooded those cities.  My family had some very close friends there (call ’em relatives, we did.) and we took a trip down there just after all the flooding happened. 

Just so happens, my aunt drove a dark blue Chevy, I’m thinking Impala, but might have been a Bel Air.  Anyway, Pennsylvania didn’t require a state license plate on the front end so everyone had some sort of personalized tag up there.  This was long before the DMV’s allowed you to make up your own tags. People just went to K-mart or some such and found them on the rack.  I can still see this big ol’ boat of a car pulling into their gravel drive.  Amidst all the chrome was an off white color tag with a musical 5-line staff and a few notes printed on it.  Imprinted over all that was the title of this week’s chart topper by Chuck Berry.  (Not his best effort either, but it made the top.  Had to have been some really, really good drugs going around at Billboard magazine that week.)

We all sang it, most of us absolutely hated it, and now you’re gonna be pissed at me ’cause it’ll be stuck in your head.

The words on that front tag?   Ding-a-ling!     Here’s the lyrics, just in case (almost as much fun as Rubber Duckie!)… 

When I was a little biddy boy
My grandma bought me a cute little toy
Two Silver bells on a string
She told me it was my ding-a-ling

My Ding-A-Ling My Ding-A-Ling won’t you play with My Ding-A-Ling
My Ding-A-Ling My Ding-A-Ling won’t you play with My Ding-A-Ling

When I was little boy In Grammar school
Always went by the very best rule
But Evertime the bell would ring
You’d catch me playing with my ding-a-ling

Once while climbing the garden wall,
Slipped and fell had a very bad fall
I fell so hard I heard birds sing,
But I held on to My ding-a-ling

Once while swimming cross turtle creek
Man them snappers right at my feet
Sure was hard swimming cross that thing
with both hands holding my dingaling

Now this here song it ain’t so bad
Prettiest little song that you ever had
And those of you who will not sing
must be playing with your on Ding-a-ling


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