Song Lyric Sunday | “Double Dutch Bus” – Raven-Symone

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Truck and Bus Songs.

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Double Dutch Bus is a hit 1981 funk song by Frankie Smith, made famous for its extensive use of the “izz” infix form of slang. Smith popularized the nonsensical form of slang, (From his song “Slang thang”, 1981 WMOT records.) in which “iz” is placed in the middle of a word (for example, the word “place” becomes “plizace”) or the last letters of a word are replaced with “-izzle” (ex. sure becomes shizzle). The style became part of hip-hop slang, and was popularized by rappers Snoop Dogg and E-40. The style today holds a place in popular slang.

Smith and co-writer Bill Bloom persuaded contacts at WMOT Records to finance the song, and it was recorded in early 1981, engineered by Gene Leone. The song rocketed to popularity in a matter of weeks and debuted on the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart in February, rising to the top spot by July, where it held at number one for four weeks. It also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 30 in the summer of 1981.

The record became only the second in history (following the 1979 Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer duet No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)), and remains one of the few, to receive two separate standard-release Gold certifications from the RIAA: first in June 1981 for sales of the 12″ single; and a second Gold record in September 1981 for sales of the 7″ edit.

Raven-Symone covered Double Dutch Bus for her 2008 family comedy with Martin Lawrence, College Road Trip, and I’m using the song scene from the movie. I love Frankie’s version but his cuts are so long (8-13 mins), and the official video is horrible. Looks as though their total  budget for the video was $7.25. 😀  (Okay, it was 1981.) (Lyrics posted are to the original song. Raven sings a shortened version.)

FUN FACTS:

  • The title represents a combination of two institutions in Smith’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania neighborhood: the double Dutch jump rope game played by neighborhood kids; and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus system.
  • Frankie Smith complained that WMOT Records failed to pay him his royalties, and how he therefore was unable to pay his taxes. An investigation was started which brought to light that WMOT Records was not only badly managed, but in fact laundering money for Larry Lavin, aka Dr. Snow, a dentist who was secretly dealing cocaine. This way, the success of Double Dutch Bus indirectly caused the end of a major drugs business.
  • Frankie Smith died in Philadelphia on March 8, 2019, he was 65-66 years old.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Double Dutch Bus

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

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