|Tenniel illustration for |
"The Walrus and the Carpenter"
by master of nonsense syllables, Lewis Carroll!
Why do so many of us recognize the songs that delivered these powerful but meaningless lyrics - even without hearing the music? Whether we like it or not? Other examples? See below for the sources of the 1st three.
I began collecting these for fun, but I wonder if they could help us understand something about the impact of brevity, music, repetition, social context, and emotional association on learning and communication. Really.
Here's the background on the first 3, beginning with "doo-lang...":
"doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang 
"He's So Fine" is a recording by The Chiffons which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in the spring of 1963. One of the most instantly recognizable Golden Oldies with its doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang background vocal,
- above excerpt from Wikipedia entry "He's So Fine"
"Da Doo Ron Ron" 
"...hit single by American vocal group The Crystals, produced by Phil Spector in his Wall of Sound style.
- above excerpt from Wikipedia entry "Da Doo Ron Ron"
"Coo coo ca choo ... 
"The phrase was first used in songs by artists such as The Beatles and shortly after by Simon & Garfunkel. This phrase has absolutley[sic] no definitive meaning given by dictionaries or artists such as John Lennon who first used it.
"Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.
--The Beatles' 'I Am The Walrus' 
..."Most of all, you've got to hide it from the kids
Coo coo ca choo Mrs Robinson
--Simon & Garfunkel's 'Mrs. Robinson' 
Little dudes are just eggs, leave 'em
on the beach to hatch, then coo-coo-ca-choo, they find their way back to the big 'ol blue. --Crush from 'Finding Nemo'" 
- above excerpts from "Urban Dictionary" as of Dec 11, 2012 [audio clip]
IMAGE selected by Steve Gilbert 20121211
"A scene from 'The Walrus and the Carpenter', by Lewis Carroll, drawn by Sir John Tenniel in 1871. Date 2007-11-04 (original upload date) Source Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Melesse using CommonsHelper. Author Original uploader was Mr. Absurd at en.wikipedia"
By Mr. Absurd at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
(Reusing this file) PD-ART-LIFE-70.
This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason:
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired."