Song Lyric Sunday — Beep Beep

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams is featuring a suggestion from Di at Pensitivity101 to go with novelty songs. I wanted to select one that most of you won’t have heard of, and that song is “Beep Beep” from The Playmates. Raise your hand if you ever heard this song.

“Beep Beep” was a 1958 novelty single by The Playmates. It was written by Carl Cicchetti and Donald Claps, also known as Chic Hetti and Donny Conn, the band’s arranger/pianist and drummer, respectively.

“Beep Beep” appeared on the Billboard chart for 15 weeks and peaked at number 4 in November 1958. The song was also known as “Little Nash Rambler” or simply “Nash Rambler.” The Nash Rambler was a model of car produced by Nash Motors in 1950. It was a small, bubble-shaped car that was to become the first compact car manufactured and sold in America.

Nash Rambler

At the time, the status symbol in American cars was the Cadillac or similar large cars, sometimes referred to as “land yachts.” A lot of Americans looked down their noses at compact cars such as the Nash Rambler. The humor of this song revolves around the ironic race between a prized Cadillac and a scornful little Nash Rambler, with a stunner punchline.

The song is built around accelerando, where the tempo of the song gradually increases, commensurate, in this case, with the increasing speed of the drivers.

Interesting tidbit #1: In December 1958, Time Magazine credited the popularity of “Beep Beep” with helping Nash Motors break sales records. In November 1958, the company doubled its previous year’s production record.

Interesting tidbit #2: This song, although not a chart hit, was enormously popular in the UK. It was played just about every week for nearly 20 years on the long-running BBC Radio show “Children’s Favorites” (later “Junior Choice”). But while “Beep Beep” was a huge favorite, the original recording was actually banned by the BBC because advertising in songs wasn’t allowed. Hence the words “Cadillac” and “Nash Rambler” were definitely out. The Playmates decided to re-record the song for the UK market. Cadillac became “limousine” and Nash Rambler “bubble car.” The ending on the UK version was just slightly different than the U.S. version.

Here are the lyrics to “Beep Beep.”

While riding in my Cadillac, what, to my surprise,
A little Nash Rambler was following me, about one-third my size.
The guy must’ve wanted it to pass me up
As he kept on tooting his horn. Beep! Beep!
I'll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Refrain:
Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
His horn went, beep, beep, beep. (Beep! Beep!).

I pushed my foot down to the floor to give the guy the shake,
But the little Nash Rambler stayed right behind; he still had on his brake.
He must have thought his car had more guts
As he kept on tooting his horn. Beep! Beep!
I'll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
His horn went, beep, beep, beep. (Beep! Beep!).

My car went into passing gear and we took off with gust.
And soon we were doin' ninety, must have left him in the dust.
When I peeked in the mirror of my car,
I couldn't believe my eyes.
The little Nash Rambler was right behind, you'd think that guy could fly.

Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
His horn went, beep, beep, beep. (Beep! Beep!).

Now we're doing a hundred and ten, it certainly was a race.
For a Rambler to pass a Caddy would be a big disgrace.
The guy must've wanted to pass me up
As he kept on tooting his horn. Beep! Beep!
I'll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Beep, beep. (Beep, beep.)
Beep, beep. (Try Beep, beep.)
His horn went, beep, beep, beep. (Beep! Beep!).

Now we're doing a hundred and twenty, as fast as I could go.
The Rambler pulled alongside of me as if I were going slow.
The fellow rolled down his window and yelled for me to hear,
Hey, buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear?

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Beep Beep

  1. donmatthewspoetry September 11, 2022 / 4:07 am

    Little Johnny shot his hand up Fan. Used to play it daily at kindy he says. The class loved the doggie……

    I remember this song. Does this date me?……

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clive September 11, 2022 / 4:15 am

    I grew up with Children’s Favourites, so heard this one many a time. My sister and I used to sing along with it – Saturday breakfast time chaos ensued!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nope, Not Pam September 11, 2022 / 4:34 am

    I’d never heard that before 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren September 11, 2022 / 6:51 am

    I remember the song and the commercial that came from it.

    Like

  5. newepicauthor September 11, 2022 / 7:09 am

    I remember this song, but I didn’t know anything about it. Great explanation Fandango and a nice choice for today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel September 11, 2022 / 10:26 am

    A friend of mine’s father owned a Nash Rambler – it was a terrible car – always breaking down. But I don’t recall the song.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ghostmmnc September 11, 2022 / 11:03 am

    I always liked this song. The words and also the video never fails to make me laugh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 September 11, 2022 / 12:02 pm

    I have always loved this song… I believe Dad played it for me years ago and I have heard it many times on the Dr Demento show. A fun song!

    Liked by 1 person

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