Straw Hat Songs – 1938 and 1949

There are two songs about straw hats. An Old Straw Hat was first performed by Shirley Temple in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in 1938:

An Old Straw Hat – 1938 – Lyrics/Music Mack Gordon and Harry Revel

What is all this dizzy busy hustling for
People running helter-skelter on their way
What is all this hazy crazy bustling for
No time to notice it’s a sunny day

Why don’t you take a vacation
Looks like you’ve got to have relaxation
Aw, come on, forget your troubles for a while
Why don’t you try to feel like I do?

If I had one wish to make
This is the wish I would choose
I’d want an old straw hat
A suit of overalls
And a worn out pair of shoes

Just let me roam around
Laughing at big city blues
With an old straw hat
A suit of overalls
And a worn out pair of shoes

Howdy Mister Brown!
Ho-hum!
Goin’ fishin’? Hope you get a bite!
Howdy Mister Jones!
Ho-hum!
How’s about a hay ride Saturday night?

Sing hi-ho the merri-o!
What’ve you got, what’ve you got to lose
Get an old straw hat
A suit of overalls
And a worn out pair of shoes

The other Straw hat song was by Desi Arnaz, and was first performed in the 1949 film Holiday in Havanna. Arnaz later performed the song on I Love Lucy in 1951 (see below), as well as in 1955 in the film Forever Darling, and in 1967 on the Mothers-in-Law, with his son Desi Arnaz Jr. playing the drums:

Straw Hat Song – 1949

Whenever Old Man Trouble makes trouble arise
Just put a big straw hat over your eyes
You’ll never see the circumstance making you frown
If you just push your eyes under the crown

Life can be a simple thing
A simple thing
To laugh and sing
Get yourself a hat of straw
And put it on
Don’t take it off

And when the landlord tells you the rent’s in arrears
A big straw hat over your ears
You’ll never hear the dialog tragically grim
If you just push your ears under the brim

So life can be a simple thing
A simple thing to laugh and sing
Get yourself a hat of straw
Put it on
Don’t take it off
And pretty soon your troubles will come to an end
Because you will not see or hear it my friend
To visualize permanent sun in the skies
(Just put) a big straw hat, big straw hat over your eyes

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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2 Responses to Straw Hat Songs – 1938 and 1949

  1. Fabricio Espasande says:

    Thank you for the lyrics to Desi’s. I did not know about Shirlie’s hat song. Ive been trying to look for sheet music (theres a piano solo one, not good) for this song to no avail. A while back there was one for sale at EBay, gone now 🙁

    • Jonathan says:

      Its difficult to find the lyrics for some of these songs. Couldn’t find the Orlon’s ‘Them Terrible Boots’ lyrics anywhere!

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