On Wednesday, the man who wrote the “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” song was reported dead. Rose Leroux of Ormand Beach, Florida claimed that her late husband Paul van Velkenberg wrote the famous tune under the name Paul Vance in his obituary. There’s just one problem – Paul Vance is an otherwise-established songwriter from the 50s and 60s (think Johnny Mathis) who is still very much alive. In fact, he’s so alive he even protested when his horses were withdrawn from a race due to his death, and was able to answer the phone when his grandchildren called to ask if he had died. Impressive, no?
Rose claims that her husband has told her that he wrote the song under a different name, but sold the royalty rights back in the mid-1960s. The widow never doubted the authenticity of these claims, even though he worked primarily as a painter and a car salesman. Now, his grieving wife is left to face not only her husband’s death but also the fact that she had been duped all those years. Worse, she had been duped over the semi-retarded “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” song. Though it’s made Vance a veritable fortune in royalties, that song is obnoxious.
This brings me to my next point: if you’re going to lie to get a girl into the bedroom, and you want to use the infamous “I really wrote song x but then some jerkwad ripped it off and made like a fortune” line, you should really pick a song with more sex appeal, class, and songwriting ingenuity than “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (God, I’m getting sick of writing that!).
One time, I told a girl I really wrote the lyrics and guitar tabs to “Let’s Get It On” on a napkin in an Arby’s. I told her that Marvin Gaye punched me and stole said napkin even though the song was written ten years before I was born. Such facts don’t matter, though, and I wound up making out with her for, like, an hour. Why? Was it because she was stoned? Probably. But more importantly, I chose a cool song to rip off.
I mean, out of all the hit songs you could choose from – Bob Dylan, Elvis, and thousands of others – Mr. van Velkenberg decided to choose “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” as his “She’ll buy this and give me some tail” song. Are you joking? It’s about a woman trying on clothes! Sure, maybe it’s about a woman getting over the fears to show her body, but the whole song just has a flamboyantly “gay” tone to it! I mean, that’s not the type of stuff you sing to a woman’s windowsill at one in the morning.
So let this be a lesson to all you young Casanovas out there. If you’re going to lie and claim you wrote a song despite any musical ability just to get some action, take a lesson from Mr. van Velkenberg and pick a decent song to rip off, or else when you die, you’ll have buttheads like me making fun of you.