Sunday, May 16, 2010

Do Dah Day*

I have let you down. Once again I am a day late and a dollar short, because I missed an opportunity to tell you about Do Dah Day, a pet parade, music festival, and fund raiser held each year in Birmingham, Alabama.

The 31st Annual Do Dah Day occurred YESTERDAY (Saturday, May 15, 2010). The event even has its own website. Over the years, grand marshals for Do Dah Day have included Jessica Hahn (think the Jim Bakker scandal) and Larry “Bud” Melman (think The David Letterman Show). To date, more than $600,000 has been raised for various causes dear to animal lovers' hearts.

And now we are going to have to wait an entire year for the next one.

The poet probably said it best:

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been.”

I’m so sorry.

Fortunately for us, however, Virginia over at the Birmingham Daily Photo blog managed to capture several of the entrants in this year’s parade.

* If Do Dah Day sounds familiar, that’s because it is taken from the lyrics of a song called “Camptown Races”, which begins:

Camptown ladies sing this song:
“Do Dah, Do Dah!”
Camptown race track five miles long,
“Oh, Do Dah Day!”
Gwine to run all night,
Gwine to run all day,
Gonna bet my money on a bobtail nag,
Somebody bet on the bay.

Who are these people and what do they have to do with this post?


  1. The bottom guy is Stephen Foster who wrote "The Camptown Races". No idea who the other two are.

    My daughter missed "Do Dah Day" in Birmingham as she was packing to spend a few days in Fort Payne before hopefully* meeting up with an English friend to travel westwards. How quickly did that academic year pass?

    (*volcanic dust will cause further flight disruptions this week)

  2. The first is Jhon Whittier, the author of the fuirst quote,I believe. The second is Truman Capote, who was either a grand marshal or founder of that particular Do-DAH Day parade (there are others) and Y.Pudding is correct, the last is Stephen Foster.

  3. Thanks, YP and Reamus, for your comments and your guesses!

    The first man is indeed John Greenleaf Whittier, whose poem "Maud Muller" contained the two-line quotation in the post.

    The third man is indeed Stephen Foster, who wrote "Camptown Ladies."

    But the third man is definitely NOT Truman Capote!

  4. Is the second one perchance that chap you mentioned in the text- Larry "Bud" Melman? I wonder if they named the giraffe in the animated film "Madagascar" after him?

  5. Yes, YP, you are right! The remaining photo is Larry "Bud" Melman, whose real name was Calvert DeForest. L"B"M was just his stage moniker. He died in 2007.

  6. I've followed the link to Virginia and nearly choked in my coffee. That second dog, the labrador, is just hilarious (and no doubt very embarrassed).

  7. RWP: Well, for me two out of three counts for something---not sure what, but something. The link is a hoot, by the way.

  8. Oh we used to sing all those songs in the truck while going through towns cross country. They are all great songs.We need to sing them again:)

  9. The third man is Stephen Foster who also wrote “My Old Kentucky Home” I believe and many well-known songs. This event sounds like a lot of fun.

  10. I've sung "Camptown Races" most of my life, but heretofore had never heard of "Do Dah Day" in Birmingham. Looks like fun for everyone except the entrants. Poor pooches! I hope they were not as overheated as they appeared to be.