Seven 78s from my collection, all of which fall into a category I call, Buwa-ha-haaaaa!!!
The ultimate Buwa-ha-haaaa!!! novelty, Paul Whiteman's recording of AH-HA! (1925) is a Halloween near-perennial at this blog, and this time I've added two more AH-HA!s, including Freddie "Schnickelfritz" Fisher's 1940 Decca version. Fisher really dials up the novelty, except that the novelty was already dialed up to ten, so.... Not sure how he managed it.
And the lyrics make nearly no sense, at least in their printed form--I know, because I finally hauled out my copy and studied them. All I can conclude for sure is that "AH-HA!" is what you say when you catch your guy or gal cheating on you. (Not the worst thing you could utter under the circumstances.) In fact, "AH-HA!"ing is also something you do; you don't simply say it. As in, "Now I'm gonna AH-HA! you."
Of course, if you're caught cheating, you immediately cease to be the "AH-HA!"er and become the "AH-HA!"ee. That's the lesson of the song, apparently.
Those words at the start of the Whiteman version? Turns out they go, "Once a hero, now a villain," said John Applesauce. "I have changed because of a gal." John Applesauce??
I should note that, by the second verse, the two-timing gal has become Mrs. Applesauce, but, despite her promise to love and obey, she's double-crossed him, and "now she has things all her way." So she's doing the "AH-HA!"ing now. That's what it says; seriously.
And the next to last line--You said that I meant nothing and I never had a cent, but I've got forty dollars in the bank at four percent, AH-HA!--is hers, not his.
I hope that clears up any and all confusion.
Click here to hear: Buwa-ha-haaaaa!!!
AH-HA!--Paul Whiteman Orch., 1925
AH-HA!--Oriole Orch., vocal: Mark Fisher, 1925
AH-HA!--Freddie "Schnickelfritz" Fisher and His Orch., 1940
Murder (Byron Gay)--Plantation Jazz Orch., 1920
Mystery!--Paul Biese and His Novelty Orch., 1919
Little Nell--Eliot Everett (Joe Haymes) Orch., 1932