Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Mysterious Mose” — Rube Bloom (1930)

When your path at midnight dark by a graveyard goes
And someone whistles: Ley-de-dooo?
That’s Mysterious Mose!

On some dark and stormy night, while the tempest blows
If someone whistles: Ley-de-dooo?
That’s Mysterious Mose…

If a bopping 1930 jazz/swing tune prominently features a slide whistle, I’m so in. SO in. You have no idea.

Modern audience best remember Mysterious Mose — if indeed it is in ANY way remembered — as the title of a Fleischer Brothers’ animated short, in which the exquisite Betty Boop sings the signature tune amidst some wondrously entertaining 1930s black-and-white animation. Rather conveniently, the short resides in the public domain so you can check it out online, if you’re so inclined.

Accordingly, the song itself isn’t anything too deep, but it’s entirely great fun; a bouncy warning to beware the nefarious graverobber of the same name. Or perhaps, a mischievous spirit of some kind. Maybe even a poltergeist. I’d like him to be a poltergeist. Let’s just use poltergeist, shall we?

Unless he’s a graverobber.

Well anyway, as far as I can ascertain a man named Walter Doyle composed and published Mysterious Mose in 1930. That very same year, the multi-talented Rube Bloom (pianist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, etc.) recorded a version that we are featuring today, and it’s a crackerjack of an old-timey spooktacular. In other words, perfect for Halloween.

Seriously, give Mysterious Mose an immediate listen. If you are not utterly charmed by its swingin’ rhythms and Bloom’s gleeful “ley-de-doos”, you may or may not be a turnip. Or a graverobbber. Whatever. This is quintessential Halloween material. Did I mention that it’s got a slide-whistle?

He sees all, he knows all; he’s just been everywhere
Some night, he might wait for you upon the stair!

So when you’re going down the cellar, walk upon your toes
And if someone whistles: Ley-de-dooo?
That’s mysterious mose!

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