"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (also called "The Magic Song") is a novelty song, written in 1948 by Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston. Introduced in the 1950 film Cinderella, and performed by actress Verna Felton, the song is about the Fairy Godmother transforming an orange pumpkin into a white carriage, four brown mice into white horses, a gray horse into a white-haired coachman, and a brown dog into a white-haired footman. The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951 but lost out to "Mona Lisa" from Captain Carey, U.S.A. Disney used the song once again in their 2015 blockbuster remake of Cinderella which starred Lily James in the leading role. The song was performed by Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Fairy Godmother, and was the final song of the movie, playing with the end credits. Bonham Carter's version can also be found as the 30th song on the original movie soundtrack.
Ilene Woods and The Woodsmen with Harold Mooney and His Orchestra recorded the song in Hollywood on October 26, 1949. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 31-00138B and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog numbers B 9970, SG 2371, HM 3755 and JM 2678.
A recording by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters was the most popular. It was recorded on November 7, 1949 and released by RCA Victor Records as a 78 rpm single (catalog number 20-3607-B) and as a 45rpm single (catalog number 47-3113-B). The flip side was "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes". The recording reached number 14 on the Billboard chart. The same single was released in the United Kingdom by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as a 78rpm single (catalog number B 9961). It was also released with catalogue numbers HN 2730, X 7279, SAB 8 and IP 615.
Another recording, by Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae, was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 782. The record first reached the Billboard charts on December 16, 1949 and lasted 7 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 19. It was backed with "Echoes" on the flip side.
On the Cash Box Best-Selling Record charts, where all versions were combined, the song reached number 7.
The Kings Men performed the song on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program on January 10, 1950.
Bing Crosby recorded the song with Vic Schoen and His Orchestra on January 3, 1950. Dinah Shore also recorded the song on September 9, 1949. It is currently in the compilation of 1992 Sony Music (Legacy label) album "Zip A Dee Doo Dah".
The lyrics of the song, as with the title, are composed nearly entirely of nonsense. The Cinderella LP insert lists the lyrics as follows:
Put 'em together and what have you got?
It'll do magic believe it or not
Now, Sala-gadoola means menchicka-boolaroo
But the thing-a-ma-bob that does the job is
Put 'em together and what have you got?
Bibbidi-bobbidi, bibbidi-bobbidi, bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.
The 1949 recording, however, has several extra English lines that were not used in the 1950 Disney version, including: "If your mind is in a dither, and your heart is in a haze, I'll haze your dither, and dither your haze, with a magic phrase", and "if you're chased around by trouble, and followed by a jinx, I'll jinx your trouble, and trouble your jinx, in less than forty winks." The tempo of the various recordings also differs widely.
The song's melody resembles "Hello! Ma Baby", a Tin Pan Alley song from 1899. Five years after Cinderella, "Hello! Ma Baby" was popularized in animation by One Froggy Evening, with Warner Bros. having acquired its rights in 1929.
In 1955, Jack Pleis recorded it for his album, Music from Disneyland.
In 1975, Bando Da Lua recorded it for the album, Bando Da Lua Nos E.U.A.
On SpongeBob SquarePants, A similar sounding tune is heard sometimes such as when Squidward was playing a piece on his clarinet that incorporates a similar sounding tune as seen on the episode, "Squid Wood".
On House of Mouse, Jafar and Iago help Mickey and friends bring the clubhouse back after Daisy accidentally made it disappear by doing a rap version of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo as seen from the episode, "House of Magic".
Parodies and puns
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Akira Toriyama named three characters in his Dragon Ball series after this song: the evil wizard Bibbidi, his son Bobbidi, and Bibbidi's powerful creation Djinn-Boo. However, these names are spelt as "Bididi", "Babidi", and "Majin Buu" respectively, in the English dub of the animated adaption. Also, two characters of the arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes are also named after the song: the Majin Hero Salaga and the demon Mechickaboola.
The song is parodied on the Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain episode "Narfily Ever After", a parody of Cinderella.
A parody version recorded by Mickey Katz is entitled "The Baby, the Bubbe, and You".
This phrase is often referenced in other Disney stories - mostly when magic is being used. For example, in The Return of Jafar, and also in the Hercules TV series, in the 'One Saturday Morning episodes,' Episode 12: "Hercules and the Gorgon."
The popular radio show My Favorite Husband episode which aired on July 27, 1950, makes fun of the nonsense words of this song. The title of the episode is "Liz Writes A Song".
The film Shrek 2 features a parody of the song, sung by Fiona's fairy godmother.
- Cinderella: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack (CD Liner booklet). Various Artists. Walt Disney Records. 2012. p. 4. D001825700.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Cinderella (2015) movie review (plus Frozen Fever) – ONCE184". oncepodcast.com. 13 March 2015.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- The writer and editor Marvin Kaye adapted a Turgenev short story, and his adaptation, copyrighted 1975, appeared in English as "Bubnoff and the Devil". Kaye's adaptation was reprinted in Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural, Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1985, Marvin Kaye and Saralee Kaye, eds., at 24-30. In Kaye's adaptation, the character of the Devil’s granddaughter is called "Bibbidibobbidibu." But Kaye borrowed that name from the song. In Russian, the character’s name is simply "Babebibobu" (in Cyrillic characters, Бабебибобу). A Russian version of the story is available online at http://rvb.ru/turgenev/01text/vol_01/04unpublished/0100.htm. And in an English translation of the story that predates the Disney movie and the song, the character’s name is "Babebibobu." See "The Adventure of Second Lieutenant Bubnov," in The Evening Standard Second Book of Strange Stories, Hutchinson, London, 1937, at 375.
- Theron, Martin (2008-06-16). "Dragon Ball Z Season 8 DVD Set - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2013-05-25.