Inspired by a
discussion in the Mechanical Music Digest about 'Ching Chong'
(October 2010), here's a page dedicated to this tune, well known
amongst mechanical music enthusiasts.
Composed by QRS Vice-President
Lee S. Roberts (1884-1949) with words by J. Will Callahan (although
at least two of the rolls credit Roberts as lyricist), it has
remained popular in our hobby, mainly due to the elaborate
arrangements the tune brought forth from various roll companies.
Presented here are six different performances/arrangements for your
listening pleasure. Just click on the roll label to listen!
'Way out in old "San-Fran" there is a Chi-na-man,
who's known for miles a-round;
Won-der-ful place he keeps, down where he eats and
way un-der-neath the ground!
Each night the fes-tive chinks, come there to wink
and dream a-way the hours.
They sing this fun-ny song while they are borne
on beds of pop-py flow'rs,
"Ching Chong, Oh Mis-ter Ching Chong,
you're the king of Chi-na-town,
Ching Chong, I love your sing-song
when you have turned the lights all down;
Ching Chong, just let me swing 'long
thru the realms of drow-sy land;
dream-ing while stars are beam-ing,
Oh! Mis-ter Ching Chong, sing-song man."
When you're in "Fris-co town" don't fail to drop
and see this Ching Chong man.
Wonderful things you'll learn down where the
he'll show you all he can.
Then, when the time is ripe he'll fill your lit-tle
and then a light he'll bring.
Gent-ly you'll float a-way far out on slum-ber bay
and soft-ly you will sing:
Terry Smythe (QRS scan)
John Tuttle (Transcribed lyrics)
Joyce Brite (Recut Connorized 'Ching Chong' roll, which inspired the
John Miller (Piano Roll Labelling software created these roll