Tiny Tim: Tiptoe through the tulips

My niece left us again today, sadly, and she left us a lovely bouquet of orange tulips. We’d talked about how valuable tulips were in the 16th and 17th century, when the bulbs that we consider commonplace were very rare and were traded for enormous sums of money. The tulip mania led to especially frenzied trade in Haarlem during the height of the bubonic plague from 1636—1637, when bulbs were treated as currency. — So, Tiny Tim, sing it for us: A one and a two…

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Oh tiptoe to the window, by the window that is where I’ll be.
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me!

Oh, tiptoe from the garden, by the garden of the willow tree.
And tiptoe through the tulips with me!

Knee deep in flowers we’ll stray, we’ll keep the showers away.
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight, will you pardon me?
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me!

song of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

7 thoughts on “Tiny Tim: Tiptoe through the tulips”

  1. Now, see, THAT’S how that song should be sung: With a ukelele. Not like that Brian Krause guy on “American Idol” (though I appreciate them bringing Tiny Tim TO “American Idol.”)

  2. Hi Gina,

    Thanks so much. I agree, the ukelele is essential. But in fact, I don’t think you can do a “hilarious performance” of Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim’s art is true camp. He can’t be ridiculed (which is what Krause did) without it being pathetic, insulting and stupid. A camp artist loves what he does, and loves the fun in it.
    Christopher Isherwood put it best in The World in the Evening, 1954: “You can’t camp about something you don’t take seriously. You’re not making fun of it; you’re making fun out of it. You’re expressing what’s basically serious to you in terms of fun and artifice and elegance.”
    More in the great Wikipedia article on Camp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_%28style%29

  3. Picking up on every little thing and responding like a trusting and involved and bewildered and completely dedicated dog. Dick Martin’s hair, his suit, his everything… They’re just such a perfect contrast.

    I found this in the Wikipedia write-up of Laugh-In (1968-73):
    “Tiny Tim was Herbert Khaury, a serious scholar of Tin Pan Alley tunes… Thanks to appearances on the show, he recorded a piercing version of the 1920s song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” which became a Top-40 hit. … Martin would often refer to Tim’s appearances by asking Rowan with some concern, ‘You’re not gonna bring back Tiny Tim, are you?'”

  4. I remember watching the Laugh In from the conformity of suburban London – everything seemed alien to me , i had no cultural reference, but i loved it and that man Mr martin seemed like my friend.

  5. “Tiptoe Through the tulips” beautiful title, a poem in itself, really.
    Tiny Tim is very touching and funny : thanks for the article on “camp”, for the video, and for the poem.

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