About the Songs
Unlike some other Laurel and Hardy features,
Sons of the Desert did not rely upon an
elaborate operatic score nor did they cast a singer
in a supporting role. This movie was pure Laurel
and Hardy, without these extraneous elements that
many may see as filler.
Yet, Sons of the Desert introduced us to
two songs that are very familiar today. The first
of these is "Honolulu Baby," composed for this film
by T. Marvin Hatley. This is probably one of his
most well known pieces, second only to the Cuckoo
The boys hear "Honolulu Baby" while at their
convention in Chicago, reminding them that they
told their wives they were going to Honolulu. It is
performed by Ty Parvis, who is accompanied by a
cabaret of hula dancers.
This song was heard again in later Roach
pictures, such as Our Gang's Beginner's Luck
(1935). Today, real Sons of the Desert
conventioneers are often heard singing this song;
of course, they'll take advantage of any excuse to
dress up in a grass skirt and play a ukulele.
The second song heard in Sons of the
Desert, which has become the anthem of the real
Sons of the Desert, was simply a joke written to
officiate the start of their lodge meeting. The
tune is a combination of "Give my regards to
Broadway" and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp the Boys are
There has been some controversy over the years,
as to one line in particular. The line in this
tune, directly before the humming and swaying takes
place, has been quoted as "Attesting to this
melody," "And dancing to this melody," and "And
chanting to this melody." Well, all three could be
correct...but author Randy Skretvedt (Laurel and
Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies) took a look
at the original script and found a decisive answer.
It reads, "And dancing to this melody."
By T. Marvin Hatley
While down on a South Sea island,
Underneath the beauty of the stars,
I strayed upon some maidens,
Who were strumming on their guitars.
A hula maid was dancing,
And I knew I'd found my paradise.
So this is what I told her,
As I gazed into her eyes...
Honolulu baby, where'd you get those
And the dark complexion, I just idolize?
Honolulu baby, where did you get that style?
And the pretty red lips, and that sunny smile?
When you start to dance, your hula hips
Then you shake it up and down.
You shake a little here, you shake a little
Well you got the boys going to town.
Honolulu baby, sure know your stuff.
Honolulu baby, gonna call your bluff.
"We Are the Sons of the Desert"
By Frank Craven
We are the Sons of the Desert,
Having the time of our lives.
Marching along, two thousand strong,
Far from our sweethearts and wives, God bless
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the boys are marching,
And dancing to this melody.
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
Sons of the Desert are we!