Here’s one for you Disney historians and cartoon musicologists. Brew reader Eric Graf has made a remarkable find which I hadn’t heard (literally!) before. I’ll let Eric, in his own words, share his research with you. Says Eric:
“Yesterday I found a 78 that I’d been searching for for years … the Victor Records soundtrack of the Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (aka “The Silly Song”) from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
“Here’s the story as I understand it: Snow White was banned in Boston (and a few other cities IIRC) because of a verse in the Yodel Song that was supposedly off-color. Disney removed it from the Boston prints, and at some point also removed it from all the other versions of the movie.
“Since then Disney’s gone out of their way to pretend it never happened. It’s not included, or even mentioned, on any home video release I’m aware of, and it also isn’t on the Disney Snow White soundtrack CDs. But it WAS included on side 5 of the soundtrack album released by Victor Records in early 1938.
“My copy hails from the mid-40s, but it’s pressed from the original 1938 metal parts. The deleted verse is the one Sneezy sings starting at 1:04. It’s not off-color by today’s standards. Maybe a little unsanitary though… (Click to play embed sound file below)
“But here’s something else interesting, that I discovered while syncing up the 78 with a YouTube video of the song (Feh, wrong aspect ratio): The 78 is missing the dwarf’s vocals on the choruses.
“The chorus at :52, which starts with Snow White giggling, doesn’t match the backing track that’s in the movie (YouTube 1:09), but it does match the animation WAY better than the current version – if you ignore the singing dwarfs in the background. Snow White is obviously giggling on-screen (a perfect match to the 78), and the drum thing fits beautifully with Happy’s dance. On the current soundtrack – no giggling, no drum thing. But they’re singing.
“Then you get to the second sung chorus (at 1:51 on both the record and YouTube) – and the dwarf’s mouths aren’t moving! The onscreen dwarfs start singing at 1:59 with the yodeling – which is where they start on the 78 as well.
“The mid-50s Disneyland LP issue of the Snow White soundtrack matches the current version. Therefore, my inner Sherlock maintains that the 78 is the original mix, and that the vocals were left out of the movie by accident. They fixed the mistake at some point, but then they made another mistake – which still stands today – when they added vocals to the other chorus as well.”