"The Fountain in the Park", also known as "While Strolling Through (or Thru') the Park One Day", is a song by Ed Haley (1862–1932), published in 1884 by Willis Woodward & Co. of New York, but dating from about 1880. It is best known for the being the source of the tune that contains the lyric "While strolling through the park one day, in the merry merry month of May," and has been featured in numerous films, including Strike Up the Band (1940), in which it was sung by Judy Garland.
Apollo XVII (1972)
A few bars of The Fountain in the Park were sung on the Moon by NASA Astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan on the Apollo 17 mission. Schmitt started by singing "I was strolling on the Moon one day..." when Cernan joined in. Cernan kept with the original "merry month of May", however, while Schmitt sang "December", which was the actual date at the time. After a brief debate, Schmitt resumed, singing "When much to my surprise, a pair of bonny eyes..." until he could no longer remember the lyrics and began vocalizing the notes instead. Moments later, Capsule Communicator Robert A. Parker cut in from Houston, saying "sorry about that, guys, but today may be December."
The song was used in The Nifty Nineties (Mickey Mouse), Baby Puss (Tom and Jerry), Elmer's Pet Rabbit (Bugs Bunny), and Treehouse of Horror III (The Simpsons). The Real Ghostbusters started singing it in an episode titled, "Very Beast Friends." Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1962 album The Chipmunk Songbook. In Hanna-Barbera cartoons, it featured in a Top Cat episode titled "The Missing Heir" and more earlier, a Flintstones episode titled "The Hot Piano" featured Barney Rubble (voiced by Mel Blanc) playing the song with the shop assistant, much to Fred Flintstone's annoyance. The song was used as background music in the Animaniacs episode "Potty Emergency". And Singing Shield was singing in Sabrina: The Animated Series in the episode "Xabrina: Warrior Princess".
It was also used instrumentally as a leitmotif whenever the eccentric old gentleman would unexpectedly appear in the Merrie Melodies short The Dover Boys (1942). The character would shuffle across the screen, stop, leap into the air, and then resume shuffling off accompanied by this tune.
- The Fountain in the Park sheet music from the Library of Congress.
- A Web site featuring background information on (and a MIDI version of) The Fountain in the Park.
- Ed Haley's filmography from the Internet Movie Database.
- Song lyrics, as performed on I Love Lucy
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