Search for song titles, background info on our music, and more:

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Teddy Days lyrics and brief notes

Teddy Days
words & music by Lloyd Miller, arrangement by Chris Johnson, Ely Levin, Anand Mukherjee, and Lloyd Miller

Booker Dee - piano, keyboards, vocals
Otto von Dee - drums, vocals
Innocent Dee - electric guitar, vocals
Ulysses S. Dee - electric bass, vocals

This tune is a celebration of what the Deedle Deedle Dees do on our "Teddy Days," days when we recreate (in our mind) the action-packed days of one of America's great overachievers. The first two verses chart Teddy's rise from sickly childhood to robust manhood. Following his father's advice, he began a rigorous program of exercise that helped transform him into the burly bear of a president most people know. He also hunted big game, busted up illegal activities as police commissioner, fought in the Spanish-American war, negotiated treaties between world powers, survived an attempt on his life, and tried to read every book ever written. The song's finale is based on Teddy's actual journal where he meticulously cataloged his physical measurements and all his recent reading.

He was a puny, sickly child
until he found the weights (and lifted 'em)

He was a loudmouth vice president
until McKinley passed away

Teddy Roosevelt didn't start out cool
he used to be interested in birds

On my Teddy Days, I raid saloons selling beer on Sundays
and sleep under the snow at night

On our Teddy Days, we strap on chaps and bison say, "Look out!"
Maybe they've got beginner's luck like (oh no) Roosevelt!"

He was a narrow-chested, asthmatic child
but then he charged up San Juan Hill

He took his father's words to heart ("you must make your body")
after that Teddy never stopped working out

Teddy Roosevelt didn't start out cool
he used to have trouble with math in school

On a Teddy Day, my horse-drawn carriage could throw me to the street
and I'd just stand up and say, "Neat!"
On a Teddy Day, we might take a bullet on our way to give a speech,
but we'd still give the speech, we'd even show the crowd where our chest was bleedin'

Edith hoped that Teddy's days
would mellow out after his second term
but he had a ticket for Africa
Theodore left for a year of wild animal Teddy days

Now my chest is 34 inches
and I just read book 4 of Gibbon
Now my waist is 261/2 inches
and I just finished the Nibelungenlied
Now my thigh is 20 inches
Goethe, Raleigh, red-thrushes, and finches
Now my calf is 12 1/2 inches
Swinburne, Homer, Virgil, and Dickens
Now my neck is 14 1/2 inches
Horace, Socrates, and Lincoln
Now my shoulders are 41 inches
Naval War of 1812 is full of statistics
arms up I measure 101/2 inches
the Russo-Japanese War is ended
arms straight I measure 9 3/4 inches

now my forearm measures 10 inches...