Tag Archives: Billy Gilbert

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “The Silly Song” (1937)


While the Queen plots her revenge against Snow White (having discovered she’s still alive), we return to the dwarf’s cottage where a very “Silly Song” is taking place. Also known as the “Yodel song,” it features Snow White and all the dwarves dancing and singing with the animals watching. Bashful is playing an accordion, Doc is playing what looks like a cross between a bass and a dulcimer, Grumpy is playing the organ, Sleepy is occasionally playing a recorder (it’s shaped like a fish too), Sneezy is playing a small ukelele and Dopey is playing the drums while the others sing and dance. The entire song is a great example of a rustic folk melody, with two nonsensical verses (performed by Happy and Bashful respectively) in between.


I’d like to dance and tap my feet
But they won’t keep in rhythm
You see, I washed them both today
And I can’t do nothing with ’em

Ho hum, the tune is dumb
The words don’t mean a thing
Isn’t this a silly song
For anyone to sing?

When the time comes for Bashful to sing a verse, he’s quite reluctant to begin and it takes two false starts (plus a forceful nudge from Grumpy’s organ) to get him going:

I chased a polecat up a tree
Way out upon a limb
And when he got the best of me
I got the worst of him

As Snow White enjoys the song, Dopey (who is very smitten with the princess) and Sneezy work together to they can dance with her. Where they got a regular sized coat I don’t know, but to everyone’s amusement, Dopey comes out standing on Sneezy’s shoulders so that he looks like a regular-sized person. Snow White finds it funny, but also agrees to dance and everyone is having a grand time…until Sneezy feels a sneeze coming. Something you should know about Billy Gilbert (the voice of Sneezy) is that he was well-known for his comic sneeze routines (in fact that’s how he got the job, he called Walt Disney and performed his act over the telephone). And these sneezes are something else, the minute he starts hemming and hawwing as the sneeze builds up, everyone runs for cover until suddenly…Ah-CHOO!! The party dissolves into laughter as Dopey is blown clear up to the ceiling by the sneeze.

This scene is one of the most copied segments in Disney history, appearing most notably in Robin Hood (during “The Phony King of England” song). Also, you  might be interested to know that Marge Champion, the dancing model for Snow White, is still alive as of March 2019 (and will turn 100 this September). Let me know what you think about “The Silly Song” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “I’m Wishing/One Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “With a Smile and a Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Whistle While You Work” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Heigh Ho” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum/The Washing Song” (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (1937)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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