"Lydia" censored in US?

Olaf Solstrand olaf.solstrand at andebyonline.com
Fri Feb 17 14:36:37 CET 2006

Friends, Lydians, Donaldists,

I was wondering if anyone here has any knowledge about whether the lyrics  
of "Lydia the tattooed lady" in Don Rosa's story "The Treasury of Croesus"  
have been censored in the American publication? With that I mean; have the  
lyrics been changed in the process from the original Egmont script to what  
was actually printed in WDC&S 601/602/603?

Looking at the Gladstone books now, the lyrics printed are:
"Lydia, oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia? Lydia the taattoooed lady!"
"Say, have you met Lydia..."
"Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclopedia..."
"You can learn a lot from Lydia!"
"Lydia, oh, Lydia, say have you met..."
"Lydia, oh Lydia, oh have you seen Lydia! Lydia the tatooed lady!"
"Lydia, oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia?"

Of course, all of these lines ARE in the Groucho Marx lyrics, so what  
makes me wonder whether anything has been censored? Well, the Norwegian  
translation. The Norwegian translation of these lyrics contains some lines  
with such semi-erotic content that it seems VERY unlikely to me that all  
the lines in the Norwegian lyrics came from the head of the translator  
based on the lines I quote above.

Among these lines are:
-- "Mannfolk faller om som fluer når de skuer hennes buer"
("Men fall like flies when they see her curves")
-- "Lydia, Lydia, hun viser deg omkring; Hun har hele atlaset på kroppen;  
For en krone får du se Paris eller Beijing; For en femmer får du  
("Lydia, Lydia shows you around; She has the whole atlas on her body; For  
one krone [norw. currency] she'll show you Paris or Beijing; For five  
she'll show you Sugarloaf Mountain")
-- "Her går Hannibal på elefanttur over fjellet; Bak ham går Napoleon med  
kaker han vil selge"
("Here goes Hannibal on an elephant ride over the mountain; behind him is  
Napoleon with cakes he wants to sell")

...of course, I realize that none of these lines resemble anything in the  
original lyrics of the song. But still, considering the relatively sensual  
style of my first two examples, and the "celebrity aspect" of the last  
one, not to mention the amount of variation here (while the American  
lyrics pretty much are one or two lines over and over again), it feels  
somehow unrealistic that the Norwegian translator took all of this out of  
nowhere. Especially not when considering there _are_ parts of the Marx  
song which it seems more likely that inspired the Norwegian lyrics (e.g.  
the line "Mannfolk faller om som fluer når de skuer hennes buer" has the  
same rhytm as "She has eyes that men adore so and here torso even more  
so", plus they both have a little sensuality in them.

So what has happened here -- does anyone know? Were the words just too  
filthy for Gladstone to print, or were they simply never in there in the  
first place, meaning the Norwegian translator was a creative genius?

(that Sugarloaf Mountain verse is one of the funniest things I've ever  
read in a Disney comic.)

Olaf the Blue
www.andebyonline.com :: www.olafsolstrand.no

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