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Classic Warner Brothers cartoon, originally released July 18, 1936. Directed by Tex Avery, with Chuck Jones doing some of the animation.

This cartoon follows the life of young Owl Jolson. He was the fourth to be born to two music-loving parents ¹. His three siblings are born playing classical music (one comes out of the egg with a violin), but young Jolson comes out singing "I Love To Singa". His father, who prefers the classics, forces him to sing Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes. Jolson rebels, singing "I Love To Singa" sotto voce while his father's back is turned. His father catches him and gets mad, and Jolson runs away.

Jolson eventually ends up on the Jack Bunny Show. He sings his trademark song, and everyone is loving it until his frantic parents arrive at the studio.

On seeing his father, Jolson switches back to his dry rendition of "Drink To Me". His father notices that Jack Bunny is about to pull the plug on Jolson's career, so he encourages his son to sing the song he loves. Jolson does to, and everyone is happy.


The song itself is from "The Singing Kid" a (unsurprisingly) Warner Bros. film from 1936, starring (again, unsurprisingly) Al Jolson. There is little overlap between the movie and the short except the song, the character name, and the song being heard on the radio.

The complete lyrics were never sung in the cartoon, Owl sticking to the refrain. The full lyrics follow, with the cartoon lyrics in bold.

Harold Arlen, music
E. Y. Harburg, words

Ah! Oh! ain't it grand
to live and breathe
and let your chest expand.

Ah! The skies are blue,
The world's a song,
When life is notes to you,

I've got eternal youth because
I've got my heart where it belongs,
Don't care who makes the nation's laws
Long as I can sing its songs;

I love to sing-a,
about the moon-a
and the June-a
and the spring-a,
I love to sing-a
'bout the sky of blue-a,
or a tea for two-a,
anything-a with a swing-a
to an I love you-a, I love-a to, I love-a to sing!

Give me a song-a,
about the son-a-gun,
who went and done her wrong-a
but keep it clean-a;
With a cottage small-a
by the waterfall-a
any sob-a that'll throb-a
to a bluebird's call-a
I love-a to, I love-a to sing;

I was born a sing-in' fool-a,
La-de-da,
Major Bowes (Hollywood) is gonna spot me,
Got thru Yale,
with Boola Boola,
La-de-da,
Ole microphone's got me!

I love to sing-a
I love to wake up with the South-a
in my mouth-a,
and wave the flag-a,
With a cheer for Uncle Sammy
and another for my mammy,
I love to sing!

The cartoon also included another half-verse:
I love to sing-a,
I love to sing and never stop-a
'til i drop-a,

with the second half of the last verse finishing it off.


More modern cartoon fans may recognize the song as coming from Eric Cartman during his alien posession.
The original Al Jolson version can be found on his CD "Let me Sing and I'm Happy"

¹ It was pointed out to me that i forgot to mention the hokey German accents of the parents. I don't think it was ever explained why the owls are supposed to be German. Maybe it's a classical thing.


with help from:
http://www.bcdb.com/bcdb/detailed.cgi?film=492
http://mmd.foxtail.com/Archives/Digests/199711/1997.11.02.04.html
http://www.san.beck.org/MM/1936/SingingKid.html

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