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Goody Goody Gumdrops

Mom sent me to the shop to buy bread. She said I could have gumdrops.

On the way, everyone else wanted something, too – mostly food. The usual suspects: dad, dog, cat, … um, … monkey, and rabbit. Let me see … bread, cheese, donuts, fish, bananas, and of course, my

I made a chant to try to remember at all, called Goody Goody Gumdrops. I think I got everything … hmm …


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When I was a child in South Africa, my friends and I often used the phrase “goody goody gumdrops” to express pleasure, or as a superlative.

Mom: “Dad is taking us all to the drive-in movies tonight.”

Kids: “Goody goody gumdrops!”

With the alliteration and natural chugging rhythm, I’ve always thought it very musical-sounding.

Going to the shop on your own for the first time was a big rite-of-passage then. It really made you feel grown-up and important. There was the added excitement of trying to not forget anything (especially your incentive).

The phrase was the starting point. I’d also had a lot of requests for books with foods in them, as food is always a very popular topic for kids.

So a boy sets out on his big adventure to buy bread for his Mom. On the way he picks up more requests (from his dad and some animals), and starts saying a little chant to memorise them. He remembers everything…well, almost.

While I was working on song lyrics for audio CD, my son had picked up the habit of saying “Ooo Yeah!” We were listening to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers music at the time, and loving that funk. I started thinking about a funk-style song and the call-and-response or shout-out style of James Brown was an immediate link. It all seemed a natural combination with “Goody Goody Gumdrops”

When our brilliant musicians Tomo’o Tsuruya and Norihito Sumitomo started working on the music, I tentatively suggested a funky James Brown type of sound with horns and so on. What they delivered far exceeded my wildest imagination.

It’s so much fun to shout out “oooOOO YEAH!” at the end of each line of the chorus.

Try it!