Logo courtesy of Tom Blazanin


You've heard classic street-corner rock 'n' roll tunes before; "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", "Come Go With Me," etc. And you've probably noticed the crazy syllables the groups sing in the background. Ever wonder what they'd look like spelled out? Here are 20 great doo-wop syllables from The Doo-Wop Sing-Along Song Book.

1. Hooodly-Papa-Kow, Papa-Kow, Papa-Kow (YEAH), Hooodly-Papa-Kow-Papa- Kow, Papa-Kow. A gem from Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

2. Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-Oom-A-Mow-Mow, Papa-Oom Mow Mow. One of the most famous rock syllable combos, from a group called the Rivingtons and a semi-doo-wop tune called, big surprise, "Papa Oom Mow Mow."

3. Oop-Shoop, Shang-A-Lack-A-Cheek-A-Bock. One of the all-time greats, a background section from the Earls' "Remember Then" (1961).

4. Diddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-it (YEAH), Diddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-it. Notable for its persistence, in a classic doo-wop tune by Herb Cox and the Cleftones, "Little Girl of Mine" (1956).

5. Neh-neh-neh-neh, neh neh-neh-neh neh-neh neh, Neh-neh-neh-neh-neh, neh-neh-neh-neh (repeat the whole thing two more times), Werp-A-Tul-Werp, Neh-Neh-Neh-Neh, Neh-Neh Neh-Neh. A perfect example of why you have to hear doo-wop to appreciate it. The opening of "The Closer You Are," by the Magnificent Four.

6. I Su-mokem Boo-eye-ay, I su-mokem boo. Doo-wop's classic drug reference. From "Ling Ting Tong," by the Five Keys.

7. (Bom-bom) Cheer-Up, (Bom,bom) Cheer-Up, (Bom-Bom) Cheer-Up, (Bom-bom) Cheer-Up. A favorite adaptation of a real word into a doo-wop. From the Pentagons' "To Be Loved."

8. Rama Lama-Lama-Lama-Lama Ding Dong, Rama Lama-Lama-Lama-Lama Ding. That's the Edsels playing homage to George Jones, Jr.'s girlfriend, "Rama Lama Ding Dong."

9. Rang Tang Ding Dong, Rankety Sing. Weird syllable combination from "Ring Tang Ding Dong (I am the Japanese Sand man)," by the Cellos.

10. Ka-Ding-Dong-Ding-Dong, Ka-Ding-Dong-Ding-Dong, Ding. The sound of the singer's heart in the G-Clefs' thriller, "Ka Ding Dong."

11. Yip, Yip, Yip, Yip Boom, Sha-Na-Na-Na, Sha-Na-Na-Na-Na. It's from "Get A Job" by the Silhouettes and it's not only a great doo-wop, it's the symbol of the '70s doo-wop revival. The quasi greaser band from Columbia University got its name from this background.

12. Sho-Dot'n' Shoby-Doh, Sho-Dot'n' Shoby-Doh. From Fred Parris and the Five Satins' classic "In the Still of the Night." Strangely, although it's sold millions of records, the highest this song ever reached on the Billboarl charts was #25.

13. Dom-Dooby-Dom Woh-oh, Dooby Dooby, Dom-Dooby-Dom, Woh-oh, Dooby Dooby, Dom-Dooby-Dom Woh-Oh, tonight I fell in love. Sort of a white bread doo-wop, but kind of catchy. From the Tokens' "Tonight I Fell In Love."

14. Tuh-tah-tuh-tah-tah tuh-tah-aaa-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo. A super doo-wop. This is the end of a line in "Unchained Melody," by Vito and the Salutations. The one that starts "Oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your...." Originally, the next word was "touch." In doo-wop it became this 13 syllable creature.

15. A-Wop-bop-A-Loo-bop-A-Bop--Bam-Boom. For sentimental reasons. From Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti." Pat Boon's race cover ended: A-Wop-bop-A-Loo-bop-A-Bop--Pat Boon.

16. Iminni-ma-ma-ma-Iminni-ma-ma-ma-Iminni-ma-ma-ma-gin-A-tion. The doo-wop spelling for the word "imagination," as interpreted by the Quotations.

17. Shoh-Be-Doo-Wop-Wah-Da. The controversial last line in "What's Your Name," by Don and Juan. No one seems to agree on what they're saying. Here's my version.

18. Wah-Wah-000, Chop Chop Chop. An original from "Tell Me Why," by the Rob Roys.

19. Wop-wop-Doodly-wop Wop Wop. The El Doradoes lead into the instrumental break in "At My Front Door."

20. And of course: Bomp-ba-ba-bomp, Ba-bom-ba-bom-bomp, Ba-ba-bomp-ba-ba-bomp A-dang-a-dang-dang. A ding a-dong-ding, Bluuuue Moooon. From the Marcels' adaptation of the Rogers and Hart classic, "Blue Moon." Originally, this song was written for a '30s film, Jean Harlow was supposed to sing it! She never did. The Marcels, from Pittsburgh, Pa., however, made it the #1 song in America in 1961.