The Ballad of Magellan

In working on an article about how cartoons teach history, I came across one of the first historically-themed songs I remember learning. For your enjoyment, I present “The Ballad of Magellan” as performed by the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister!).

The Ballad of Magellan

Lyrics by John P. McCann and Paul Rugg; harmonies arranged by Julie Bernstein.

For best results, sing to the tune of “Git Along, Little Doggies.”

There once was a man, his name was Magellan.
A Portuguese skipper, the girls found him cute.
He sailed with five ships to find the East Indies
Then come back to Spain with a bounty of loot.
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, oh, happy Magellan!
Starting your journey with hardly a care!
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, strong, brave Magellan,
You’ll find the East Indies, you just don’t know where!
They crossed the Atlantic and spotted a country.
Magellan said…
It’s the East Indies at last!
But then someone shouted…
Hey, that’s Argentina!
Magellan got cranky and chopped down the mast.
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, settle down, Magellan.
Put down that ax! There’s no time to despair.
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, keep trying, Magellan,
You’ll find the East Indies, you just don’t know where!
A great storm arose in the mighty Pacific.
The five little ships were diminished to three.
At last, land was sighted. Magellan was happy.
But then someone shouted…
Hey, that’s Chile!
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, cheer up, Magellan.
Check out your map and don’t tear out your hair!
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, keep trying, Magellan,
You’ll find the East Indies, you just don’t know where!
It took them five months, but they crossed the Pacific.
They spotted a land that was dotted with palms.
Magellan proclaimed…
Yes! That’s the East Indies!
But then someone shouted…
Hey, I think that’s Guam!
Ai yi yi yi, oops, Magellan!
Your fun little journey’s become a nightmare!
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, keep trying, Magellan,
You’ll find the East Indies, you just don’t know where!
They sailed due west to the Philippine Islands.
Magellan was pleased as the natives drew near.
But then someone shouted…
I think they’re attacking!
Magellan said…
What?
And got hit by a spear.
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, farewell, Magellan!
You almost made it! It’s really not fair!
Whoopi-ti-yi-yo, oh, ghost of Magellan,
The East Indies Islands were right over there!
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