Tag Archives: Roger Miller

Robin Hood “Oo-De-Lally” (1973)

 

If you haven’t seen Disney’s 1973 take on the legend of Robin Hood then you are missing out. In a world where Robin is a cunning fox and Prince John is a sniveling lion, this story is full of comedy, drama, and it’s fair share of good songs. Robin Hood is partially narrated by a rooster minstrel named Alan-a-Dale (Roger Miller). After the opening credits, Alan-a-Dale begins the story by introducing us to Robin Hood (a fox) and Little John (a bear) as they’re walking through Sherwood Forest, unwittingly being tracked by the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf) and his henchmen. “Oo-De-Lally” is a ballad that narrates the action (the characters don’t begin talking until it’s over).

Robin Hood and Little John
Walking through the forest
Laughing back and forth
At what the other one has to say

Reminiscing this and that
And having such a good time
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
Golly, what a day

Never ever thinking there was danger in the water
They were drinking, they just guzzled it down
Never dreaming that a scheming Sheriff and his posse
Was a-watching them and gathering around

Robin Hood and Little John
Running through the forest
Jumping fences, dodging trees
And trying to get away

Contemplating nothing
But escape and finally making it
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
Golly, what a day

This song quickly establishes that Robin and Little John can easily outsmart their enemies, both finding it fun to give them the slip. We’re also given a classic Robin Hood moment…sort of. In the old Robin Hood stories, most will include an account of how Robin and Little John first met while each was trying to cross a log bridge from their respective side. During “Oo-De-Lally,” the pair try to cross a similar bridge only to accidentally knock one another into the water (in the original story they have a fight first).

“Oo-De-Lally” is a fun introduction to Robin Hood and just the first of many great songs in this underrated Disney film. Let me know what you think about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Robin Hood “Love” (1973)

Robin Hood “The Phony King of England” (1973)

Robin Hood “Not in Nottingham” (1973)

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

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Robin Hood “Not in Nottingham” (1973)

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Robin Hood “Double the taxes!” (1973)

Prince John is, not surprisingly, infuriated when he hears what the people of Nottingham are singing about him. So, he decides the town should sing “a new tune.”

“Double the taxes,” he cries “triple the taxes! SQUEEZE every last drop out of those insolent, musical peasants.”

It’s left to Alan-a-Dale to explain what happens next. Whereas before the town was merely oppressed by high taxes, now it’s been completely ruined. Anyone who can’t pay their taxes ends up in a dungeon deep inside Nottingham Castle. And since everyone was destitute to begin with, this means the entire population of Nottingham is imprisoned (even the minstrel rooster, who sadly sings about the woes of the town).

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Robin Hood “Not in Nottingham” (1973)

Every town…
Has its ups and downs…
Sometimes ups…
Outnumber the downs…
But not in Nottingham

I’m inclined to believe,
If we were so down,
We’d up and leave,
We’d up and fly if we had wings for flyin’…
Can’t you see the tears we’re cryin’?
Can’t there be some happiness for me?
Not in Nottingham.

The song is intermixed with various scenes of the townspeople sleeping in the dungeon. There is even a chain gang of raccoons  being led inside, presumably after a long day of hard labor. It seems the only ones not locked up are Friar Tuck and the two church mice. Tuck is ringing the church bell to announce the evening service, but nobody is coming. Nevertheless, the friar is determined to keep hope alive, even though no one has donated to the church’s poor box in ages. This gives Mrs. Church Mouse an idea; there’s one last farthing saved in their little home in the church wall, but she decides the poor need it more than they do. Cue the arrival of the Sheriff of Nottingham to ruin the moment (it’s almost like he has an internal sensor to let him know when there’s any money around).

 

Robin Hood “Friar Tuck arrested” (1973)

When the wolf takes the just-donated farthing for “taxes,” Friar Tuck reaches his limit with the fat Sheriff. He forces the wolf outside to give him a good thrashing with a quarterstaff; unfortunately that gives the Sheriff grounds to arrest the badger for high treason and he’s led off to jail to join the rest of the people of Nottingham.

I’ve always liked “Not in Nottingham,” it’s so sad but it also perfectly sums up the desperate situation happening in the town. Roger Miller’s performance is rich, smooth and a joy to listen to. What do you think of the song “Not in Nottingham”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Robin Hood “Oo-De-Lally” (1973)

Robin Hood “Love” (1973)

Robin Hood “The Phony King of England” (1973)

Disney Soundtracks A-Z

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)