The song “Vamp in the Middle” (from whose title I take the title of my short story in Helix) come from the album Aereo-Plain by John Hartford. There also appears on that album, this seemingly cryptic spoken-word piece, entitled “Station Break:”
Bill Randall 650, Dorothy S. Ma'm, the Axlewide and Peppermint Endurance Company in Bashful Johnny C, Home of the Grand Ol' Conglomeration, Fannie Hill University and the Bathtub of the South. It's 7:30.
Hartford was a Nashville disk jockey before he found fame and fortune as a singer song-writer, then respect as a flame keeper of “old timey” music, and finally death from non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 63, in 2001. The words to “Station Break” decoded:
Clear Channel 650, WSM, the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, in Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, Vanderbuilt University, and the Athens of the South. It’s 7:30.
We geezers, of course, all know the Pogo example, sung by Albert Alligator, from which the title of this essay is taken:
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!
The alternate version, somewhat rarer, was performed by Beauregard Chaulmoogra Frontenac de Montmingle Bugleboy, the dog/cop:
Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker n' too-da-loo!
Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloup, 'lope with you!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarum bung-a-loo!
Finally, I was recently moved to recover a memory of this pre-school version of The Pledge:
I pledge our Legions to the Flag, of the United Stakes of America. And Toothery Public for Richard Stands, one Nation, Undergod, Indy visible, with liver tea and just us, for all.
The name for this sort of thing is Mondegreen. Mondegreen's are usually supposed to be accidental, and the intentional versions above don't really pass the "sounds like" test of a true Mondegreen. I just wanted the Johnny Hartford thing to be documented, because apparently the CD/LP is rare, the lyrics hard to locate, and nobody else seems to know what they mean.