Song by James Baskett
GenreJazz, Scat
Composer(s)Allie Wrubel
Lyricist(s)Ray Gilbert

"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" is a song composed by Allie Wrubel with lyrics by Ray Gilbert for the Disney 1946 live action and animated movie Song of the South, sung by James Baskett.[1] For "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song[1] and was the second Disney song to win this award, after "When You Wish upon a Star" from Pinocchio (1940).[1] In 2004, it finished at number 47 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs, a survey of top tunes in American cinema.

Disney historian Jim Korkis said the word "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" was reportedly invented by Walt Disney, who was fond of nonsense words such as "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" from Cinderella (1950) and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins (1964).[2] Ken Emerson, author of the book Doo-dah!: Stephen Foster And The Rise Of American Popular Culture, believes that the song is influenced by the chorus of the pre-Civil War folk song "Zip Coon", a "Turkey in the Straw" variation: "O Zip a duden duden duden zip a duden day".[3]

Since 2020, Disney has disassociated itself from the song due to the longstanding controversy over racial connotations associated with Song of the South, with the song largely being removed from music loops in the company's theme parks.[4]

Notable versions

The Walt Disney Company never released a single from the soundtrack.

Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans version

"Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah"
Single by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans
from the album Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
B-side"Flip and Nitty"
StudioGold Star Studios, Los Angeles
Songwriter(s)Allie Wrubel, Ray Gilbert
Producer(s)Phil Spector
Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans singles chronology
"Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah"
"Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Heart"

Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, a Phil Spector-produced American rhythm and blues trio from Los Angeles, recorded "Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah" using the Wrecking Crew[9] in late 1962. According to the Beatles' George Harrison: "When Phil Spector was making 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah', the engineer who's set up the track overloaded the microphone on the guitar player and it became very distorted. Phil Spector said, 'Leave it like that, it's great.' Some years later everyone started to try to copy that sound and so they invented the fuzz box."[10] The song also marked the first time his Wall of Sound production formula was fully executed.[11]

In 1963, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans took their version of the song to number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 7 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.[12] Their song also peaked at number 45 in the UK Singles Chart the same year.[1] The song was included on the only album the group ever recorded, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, issued on the Philles Records label.

Track listings

  1. "Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah" – 2:40
  2. "Flip and Nitty" – 2:20


This version was sung by the following people:[13][14]

In popular culture

For many years, the song was part of an opening theme medley for the Wonderful World of Disney television program and it has often been used in other TV and video productions by the studio, including being sung as an audition piece by a series of children in the Disney film Life with Mikey. It is one of many popular songs that features a bluebird ("Mr. Bluebird's on my shoulder"), epitomized by the "bluebird of happiness", as a symbol of cheer.

The song is also the Departure melody of platform 1 of Maihama Station in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan.

The song was performed by Muppet bunnies in a 1980 episode of The Muppet Show guest starring Alan Arkin.

The song is sung by Tom Hanks in several scenes from Walt Disney Studios' 1984 film Splash.

The song is used in Splash Mountain, a log flume ride based on Song of the South at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, and formerly at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida.

"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" is sung at some point in Paul McCartney's film, Give My Regards to Broad Street.

The Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" animated cartoon "Journey to the Disney Vault" features a brief parody of the song. This rendition replaces "My, oh my, what a wonderful day! Plenty of sunshine headin' my way!" with Uncle Remus instead singing the lyrics, "Negroes are inferior in every way. Whites are much cleaner, that's what I say."[15]

The phrase is mentioned on the song Klap Ya Handz from the debut album of hip-hop group Das EFX, when Krayz Drayz utters the line, "So zippity doo, da day, whoops I gots stuck."

Tom Cruise uses the name of the song to help prove a point in the movie A Few Good Men.

A variant of the song is sung by Kurt Russell in Overboard.

In the 2012 "Disneyland" episode of the ABC sitcom Modern Family, Manny mentions the song when he comments in reference to the lack of cell reception on Splash Mountain: "Do you know how many bars I had? Zip-a-dee-doo-dah."


  1. ^ a b c d Brown, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "The Song of the South Frequently Asked Questions". www.mouseplanet.com. 5 December 2012.
  3. ^ Emerson, Ken (1997). Doo-dah!: Stephen Foster And The Rise Of American Popular Culture. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 60. ISBN 978-0684810102.
  4. ^ "Disneyland removes controversial 'zip-a-dee-doo-dah' lyric from its parade," CBS News, Mar 4, 2023.
  5. ^ "Song artist 450 - Johnny Mercer". tsort.info.
  6. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 3, side A.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 318. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 250. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  9. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret. Thomas Dunne. ISBN 978-0312619749.
  10. ^ Runtagh, Jordan (April 13, 2015). "9 Beatles Songs That Clearly Influenced Heavy Metal". VH1. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022.
  11. ^ Buskin, Richard (April 2007). "CLASSIC TRACKS: The Ronettes 'Be My Baby'". Sound on Sound. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 68.
  13. ^ Clemente, John (2000). Girl Groups—Fabulous Females That Rocked The World. Iola, Wisc. Krause Publications. p. 27. ISBN 0-87341-816-6.
  14. ^ Betrock, Alan (1982). Girl Groups The Story of a Sound (1st ed.). New York: Delilah Books. pgs. 120-122. ISBN 0-933328-25-7
  15. ^ "Journey to the Disney Vault". Saturday Night Live (television production). NBC. Event occurs at 1:55-2:25. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved July 3, 2021.