Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: You are probably our only resource for some information we desperately need.

Occasionally, one of our family members sings the line “I'm my own grandpa.” That's all he knows is just that one line, and he not only swears it is a legit song, but that the lyrics prove that someone can indeed be their own grandfather.

My reaction is Hogwash! It can't be possible (the relationship, not the existence of the song).

Please settle this by confirming the song (if it exists), and then explain the grandson-grandfather connection.
—Darlene Hudson, Clearwater, Fla.

DEAR DARLENE: Let's cover the uncomplicated response first.

“I'm My Own Grandpa” is a real recording, and a big hit to boot. It went Top 10 in 1948 for Lonzo & Oscar on the C&W charts, and for Guy Lombardo on the Pop charts.

Though not one of the charted versions, an excellent version, widely available on the Net, is by that wacky duo, Homer and Jethro.

Now comes the complicated — albeit rhythmic — part, so just try to follow along. There will be a quiz later.

Many, many years ago when I was young and free, I married a sweet woman, pretty as can be.

This woman had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red. My father fell in love with her and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life. My daughter is my mother now, because she's my dad's wife.

To complicate this matter, even though it brought me joy, I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little son then became a brother-in-law to dad, and he became my uncle, though it made me very sad.

That also makes him brother of the widow's grown-up daughter, who is, as you now know, also my stepmother.

Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run, and he became my own grandchild, by being my daughter's son.

My wife is now my mother's mother, and it makes me blue. Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too.

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild, and every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild. For now I have become the strangest case I ever saw.

As husband to my own grandmother, I'm my own grandpa!

DEAR JERRY: Circa 1963, there was a song that I heard repeatedly on the jukebox. It must have been the flip side of a hit tune, the A-side being the reason for it being on the juke.

This song probably is titled “I Want to Do It,” as that phrase is the one used most often.

At the time I was surprised it wasn't censored, as it does have sexual overtones. Can you identify the song and artist?
—Tom Stamm, Lake Zurich, Ill.

DEAR TOM: You are right on all counts. The title is “I Want to Do It,” it is the flip side of a hit song, and it is a 1963 issue.

Now here is the facts you need to complete this investigation: The A-side of the single (Lawn 202) is “Let's Stomp,” and the artist is Bobby Comstock.

If you asked Bobby Comstock, he might tell you it was really the stomp that he wanted to do.

IZ ZAT SO? Homer (Haynes) and Jethro (Burns) did make a few recordings of novelty songs, such as “I'm My Own Grandpa;” however, most of their hits are parodies — having music and arrangements similar to the original hits, but with zany lyrics. At times the title is altered slightly to protect the innocent.

Some memorable tunes, spoofed by Homer and Jethro, are: “Tennessee Border, No. 2” (“Tennessee Waltz”); “(How Much Is) That Hound Dog in the Window” (“Doggie in the Window”); “The Battle of Kookamonga” (“The Battle of New Orleans”); and “El Paso, Numero Dos” (“El Paso”).

One of the pair's more unlikely hits is their hilarious 1964 Beatles parody, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” backed with “She Loves You.”

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