Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: April 20, 2019
Primary Language: English
[Assorted singing] (Wait, start over, I have to transcribe this) [A and B singing over each other]
Miss Susie had a steamboat,
the steamboat had a bell,
Miss Susie went to Heaven,
the steamboat went to–
I’m caller number nine
and if you disconnect me
I’ll chop off your be–
’hind the ’’fridgerator,
There was a piece of glass
Miss Susie sat upon it
And broke her little–
–ask, me no more questions,
tell me no more lies.
The boys are in the bathroom
zipping up their–
–flies are in the meadows,
bees are in the park
Miss Susie and her boyfriend are kissing in the
Dark, dark, dark,
Darker than the ocean,
darker than the sea
Darker than the underwear my mommy puts on me
My mommy is Godzilla
my daddy is King Kong,
my brother is the jerk that made me sing this song
A: is that a thing? Miss Susie went to heaven–
B: Camp songs! Camp songs are a thing. Baby shark.
[more overlapping talking] (So do y’all have any other camp songs or is that it?)
A: We went to different camps.
B: …bazooka zooka bubblegum! Bazooka zooka bubblegum!
(So how did y’all learn these?)
A: Camp counselors.
[rousing chorus of Camp Grenada]
B: They sample a classical piece for that song.
Context & Analysis: This piece was shared by my informants H and N at an informal house gathering. Myself, N, H, and one other were sharing pizza and talking. They started telling stories, and I immediately wanted to record some. It was difficult to get H and N to explain their camp songs to me as I believe they were distracted by how much fun they were having. I did some research into this piece because I remembered learning a slightly different version, and found there are in fact significant regional oikotypal changes, proving that as the song traveled and was passed from camp counselor to camper, the lyrics changed according to whatever the people in the area found the funniest or most clever.