Last century’s pivotal event: The explication

Standard

Before yesterday few people knew that the pivotal event of the last century was the airing of the Mickey Mouse Club in October 1955. Each week, millions of little Poppers (later known as Boomers) tuned in to watch the show and without even trying, memorized the catchy theme song.

The world has never been the same since. Most people of a certain age know most if not all of these words, but they have no idea what they really mean. That’s why I’m here, to reveal the true meaning.

Just for fun, let’s start at the beginning since it comes first. Feel free to sing the words as you read them.

Who’s the leader of the club

That’s made for you and me

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there

You’re as welcome as can be

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

 

Mickey Mouse!

 

Mickey Mouse!

First, note how it begins with the three words, “Who’s the leader.” Like the first three words of the Constitution, We the People, it is revolutionary and sets the tone for all that follows. The well-known bumper sticker “Question Authority” paraphrases those initial words and became the mantra of the 1960s.

The use of “club” in this lyrical question is used in the benign sense, and the following words “that’s made for you and me” led directly to the civil rights movement and the idea that everyone should be included in the “club,” which stands for U.S. society. Note the significance of “You’re as welcome as can be.” I hardly need to tell you that this is a paraphrase of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus:”

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Next, think about the fact that Mickey’s name is spelled out. Is it any wonder that those hours spent spelling Mickey’s name led directly to spell-check on computers?  This point needs no further explanation.

Now let’s look at a portion of the song that had both a positive and negative influence.

Forever let us hold our banner

High! High! High! High!

The first line, Forever let us hold our banner, explains all of the banners and signs carried during the 1960s protesting war and discrimination. However, that four-fold repetition of the word “high” led directly to indiscriminate drug use in the 1960s and beyond. Was it intentional? It’s hard to say. However, if you recall, Disney was born on Tripp Avenue. You decide.

Come along and sing a song

And join the jamboree!

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

In this verse, we must look carefully at the word “jamboree,” which means “noisy revel.” This planted the idea for both rock concerts, most notably Woodstock, and in the same year,  the TV show, Hee Haw. 

 

 

Mickey Mouse club

We’ll have fun

We’ll be new faces

High! High! High! High!

In this stanza, we see the modern emphasis on having fun. All things and all events, including funerals, must have an element of fun if we want people to enjoy themselves. More importantly, the phrase We’ll be new faces led to a demand for  facelifts and fueled the $1.8 billion cosmetic surgery industry.

We’ll do things and

We’ll go places

All around the world

We’ll go marching

 

 

While this stanza is responsible for the invention of the computer and all other technological inventions of the last 50 years (We’ll do things) and the creation of our highly mobile society (We’ll go places), it undoubtedly influenced some of our policymakers to send our soldiers marching around the world. That’s the problem with taking too much of this song literally.

As you can see, there is much more to the Mickey Mouse Club theme song than most people realize. Many people are baffled by how cultures develop and history unfolds. I hope I have helped you in this.

Wikipedia helps everyday by sharing its photo album. Thank you, Wikipedia.

36 thoughts on “Last century’s pivotal event: The explication

  1. Help is not the word, year stricken. Finally, I feel as if my eyes have been opened. In our country, it has always been a little difficult to understand Americans, though we admire your country, your way of life, and your success. There is that certainty and confidence of American visitors to our country… like when they speak to us in English, in a loud voice, expecting us to understand somehow… sometimes spelling things out… just as they did in this club you mention. How it all fits together! Occasionally, when we see things we just can understand about America, or visitors from the US, one of us will say, Mickey Mouse, in a low voice… but even then, I never realized that that was the key to understanding. Thank you so much for this post.

    • Apparently the term “Mickey Mouse” meaning amateurish has made its way around the globe. I have seen first hand the efforts of Americans abroad using assuming that non-English speakers were merely hard of hearing.

      I’m so glad this helped you understand us better.

  2. Eye-opening and thought-provoking…who would have ever guessed it? I wonder if it might have been a plot by the enemy during the Cold War to divert and subvert the American people into a state of apathetic oblivion? Hmmmm….

  3. Thanks for clearing this up, Year-Stricken. Because I had thought that the HOWDY DOODY Show had made all the difference. Because most of us former members of the Peanut Gallery earn only peanuts.

    My mistake!

  4. I don’t think the Mickey Mouse Club ever reached Ireland which is a terrible shame as I now see that it would have changed the course of our lives. Thank you for telling us about this; I will never again believe anything I read in a history book.

  5. So, what is the underlying meaning of the NEW Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme song:

    Miska-mooska-Mickey-Mouse…

    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E (that’s me!)
    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    It’s the Mickey Mouse clubhouse.
    Come inside, it’s fun inside.
    It’s the Mickey Mouse clubhouse.

    Roll call: Donald! Daisy! Goofy! Pluto! Minnie! Mickey!

    It’s the Mickey Mouse clubhouse.
    Come inside, it’s fun inside.
    It’s the Micky Mouse clubhouse!
    Come inside, it’s fun inside.

    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

    I’m sure this must have a greater cultural meaning for the next generation!

  6. I was never interested in this club. You know, come to think of it, I have never really been very interested in any club…..perhaps agreeing with Groucho. But this was just the beginning of my non-conformism……because it is so ironic that all of the nonconformists looked alike, talked alike, and at times they even thought alike. 🙂 I believe I have now mixed many metaphors as well as early 60’s television shows.

  7. hello, yearstricken… 🙂 had i known that culture and history is this simple, i wouldn’t have spent all those hours, years, poring over history books and back copies of national geographic, huh? ^^

    i mean, your write up has done more than those pages. i now understand ken keyes better and the psychedelic people, too. am gonna go over the movies Love Story, Forrest Gump, etc. and view them with a more enlightened pair of eyes… ^^

    am afraid you’ll hear some people dissenting on this one. but your arguments stand on good grounds, ms. yearstricken…the pictures really made the write-up funnier. thanks! 🙂

      • hmmn, facts plus a huge dose of rhetorics could blind people into believing they’re advocating for the right cause. but now, this post has made things clearer. propaganda has seen its days. no longer will i be duped into believing their crap… ^^ and yes, the dissenters of today will be the administrators and technocrats of tomorrow. do we really learn from history, huh? 😉 regards and cheers, ms. yearstricken!

  8. We used to get that TV show in New Zealand. Years ago, when I was studying for an undergrad degree in anthropology (in New Zealand), I did a paper on the ethnography of Disney’s cartoon characters (the ones celebrated by the club). Starting with the way family is presented – no linear descent, everybody is an uncle, aunt, niece or nephew. And there was more. First I laughed. Then I became very scared…

    Matthew Wright
    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com
    http://www.matthewwright.net

    • I would love to read your paper on the ethnography of Disney’s cartoon characters. It sounds fascinating. Once i print out my degree in cultural anthropology, I want to study stuff like that.

  9. To add one more textual note: “the club that’s made for you and me” is clearly an echo of Woody Guthrie’s “This land was made for you and me,” and as such probably helped launch the Folk Music explosion of the ‘sixties and ‘seventies.

  10. Brilliant exposition, Yearstricken.

    May I suggest another line of inquiry? As we all know, most of the rhymes written by the prophet Emily Dicknson can be sung to the tune of:

    The Yellow Rose of Texas
    I’d like to Teach the World to Sing
    Gilligan’s Island

    How did this foretell:
    Dallas 1963?
    The British Invasion?
    Class conciousness and ecology taught by the immortal castaways?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s