Doin’ The Raccoon – Música

Raccoon coats, a full-length fur coat made of raccoon hide, were a fad in the United States during the 1920s. Such coats were particularly popular with male college students in the middle and later years of the decade.

They became popular due to the stories of Davy Crockett and popular artist James Van Der Zee. George Olsen and His Music released a recording highlighting the fad in 1928, titled “Doin’ the Raccoon”,  with the lyrics:

From every college campus comes the cheer: oy-yoy!
The season for the raccoon coat is here, my boy!
Rough guys, tough guys, men of dignity,
Join the raccoon coat fraternity, soon,
To do the raccoon!

A few months after Olsen’s recording hit the air, the November 16, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post featured an Alan Foster illustration of several college men wearing raccoon coats. The raccoon coat (many times accompanied with a straw boater, wingtip spectator oxfords, and either a saxophone or a ukulele) has been referenced numerous times in movies and television, both as a symbol of the Jazz Age and as a cliché motif of collegiate enthusiasm.

George Olsen & His Music – Doin’ The Raccoon, 1928

College men, knowledge men,
Do a dance called raccoon;
It’s the craze, nowadays,
And it will get you soon.
Buy a coat and try it,
I’ll bet you’ll be a riot,
It’s a wow, learn to do it right now!

High brow, low brow, intermediate,
Make believe they’re all collegiate, soon,
To do the raccoon!

Raccoon coats don’t care who’s wearing ’em,
Hallroom boys will all be sharing ’em soon,
To do the raccoon!

Every day its popularity grows,
It’s the most important item in clothes.

Ten bucks down, and though it scratches you,
Wear it ’til the sheriff catches you, soon,
To do the raccoon!

Oh, they wear ’em down at Princeton,
And they share ’em up at Yale,
They eat in them at Harvard,
But they sleep in them in jail!

They store ’em at Ohio,
They’re hawked at Notre Dame,
They carry ’em at California,
But they wear out just the same!

At Penn, they’re made of rabbit,
At Vassar, sex appeal,
At Nebraska, made of airedale,
In Chicago lined with steel!

From every college campus comes the cheer: oy-yoy!
The season for the raccoon coat is here, my boy!

Rough guys, tough guys, men of dignity,
Join the raccoon coat fraternity, soon,
To do the raccoon.

Rich men, poor men, all have pride in them,
No one knows who walks inside of them, soon,
To do the raccoon.

Every day you’ll have your downs and your ups, high-ho,
Every day those raccoon coats will have pups, I know!

Get a girl and start to hurry her
Right downtown to some big furrier, soon,
You’ll do the raccoon!

Rac, rac, rac, rac, rac-rac-rac raccoon!

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