Barney Google, the Song

Barney Google Sheet Music Cover

I love the Barney Google Comic strip (which really needs a complete reprinting, but you can get a good taste of it by joining the yahoo group “GoogleGang” here).

In its heyday in the 20’s, it was one of the most popular comic strips in the country, and as a result it was also a merchandising phenomenon.

Barney Google Wind Up Toy in Action

This merchandising included, among other things, a song.

My Grandpa likes to sing a refrain from the song “Barney Google” every once in a while, and I recently started singing it to my daughter along with a lot of eye rolling at the appropriate points, which she finds hilarious. I thought I’d see what I could find out about it around the interweb.

BARNEY GOOGLE
(Rose / De Beck / Con Conrad)
Billy Jones & Ernest Hare, Thomas & West

Who’s the most important man this country ever knew?
Do you know what politician I have reference to?
Well, it isn’t Mr. Bryan, and it isn’t Mr. Hughes.
I’ve got a hunch that to that bunch I’m going to introduce:
(Again you’re wrong and to this throng I’m going to Introduce:)

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google bet his horse would win the prize.
When the horses ran that day, Spark Plug ran the other way.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google had a wife three times his size
She sued Barney for divorce
Now he’s living with his horse.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Who’s the greatest lover that this country ever knew?
And who’s the man that Valentino takes his hat off to?
No, it isn’t Douglas Fairbanks that the ladies rave about.
When he arrives, who makes the wives chase all their husbands
out?

Why, it’s Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google is the guy who never buys.
Women take him out to dine, then he steals the waiter’s dime.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google is the luckiest of guys.
If he fell in to the mud, he’d come up with a diamond stud.
Barney Google with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Who’s the greatest fire chief this country ever saw?
Who’s the man who loves to hear the blazing buildings roar?
Anytime the house is burning, and the flames leap all about,
Say, tell me do, who goes, “kerchoo!” and puts the fire out?

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google, thought his horse could win the prize.
He got odds of ten to eight; Spark Plug came in three days late.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google tried to enter paradise.
When Saint Peter saw his face, he said, “Go to the other place”.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

I’ve got four versions of this song for your listening enjoyment (courtesy of archive.org and juneberry78s.com).

Here are download links:

Barney Google Version 1: Billy Jones and Ernest Hare
Barney Google Version 2: Billy Jones and Ernest Hare Alternate Version
Barney Google Version 3: Great White Way Orchestra with Billy Murray

Barney Google Version 4: Georgie Martin

Hogan’s Alley has a nice gallery of old sheet music covers featuring old cartoon characters… there are a ton of them. Looking at the gallery, it reveals that there was a second Barney Google song… “The Brotherhood of Billy Goats.” If anyone has a recording of that out there, I’d love to share it.

Barney Google Order of Billygoats Sheet Music

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