Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 6724
by John Martin

Back in the days when most prime time TV shows had theme songs, many with words, it wasn't long before the viewer had the themes memorized and sang along. One of those shows was "The Adventures of Robin Hood," with 143 half-hour episodes starring Richard Greene, aired from 1955 to 1960.

When Tarzan got his own series, 1966-68, there was a theme song, but no words. What if a film company had done "The Adventures of Tarzan" with a theme song to the same tune as the one for Robin Hood?
If you don't remember the Robin Hood theme, listen HERE

And here's my "Adventures of Tarzan" version, the song that never was:

Here I come, here I come, Tarzan of the Apes,
Super jungle hero but without a need for capes,
Beasts I befriend, villains I rend!
Here I come, here I come, here I come.

I ride the mighty Tantor and I tame the lion strong,
I take the gold of Opar for my pay,
My faithful little monkey on my shoulder rides along,
As o'er the limbs of trees I fly away.


The jungle is my milieu, the Waziri are my friends,
Jane is right beside me as my wife.
My trusty bow and arrow always pays me dividends,
As does my sire's hunting knife!

As I sing the above, I can picture a black and white Tarzan TV show in the old 50s style with opening scenes of Tarzan in the trees interspersed with shots of the smiling Waziri and Jane and various animals.
There were several verses to the 1950s Robin Hood theme, but only the first verse and the chorus were generally sung as credits rolled at the end. Here's all of the verses:

The late science fiction writer Harlan Ellison noted that "every man, woman and child on the planet knows Mickey Mouse, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Robin Hood and Superman." Other writers have teamed Tarzan up with Superman and Sherlock Holmes but I'm not sure if he's worked with Robin Hood! However, one Tarzan-Robin Hood connection is the advertising for Robin Hood shows on a version of an old March of Comics Tarzan issue. These were giveaways at stores and would often have the name of a product or store printed on the comic, as does the scan of the one accompanying this post.

Robin Hood and Tarzan teamed up to sell shoes in this March of Comics edition. Front cover and Back covers.
Looks as if neither Tarzan or Boy are wearing those Robin Hood shoes!

This is No. 300 in the March of Comics series.
More about March of Comics:

ERBzine Editor's Note:
During our first music tour of England I met with
music mogul Dick James in his office on Denmark Street in London.
I spent two afternoons with him discussing
distribution of my published songs and our recordings in the UK.
His Dick James Music was probably the most powerful music company in England.
He is famous for representing The Beatles, Elton John, etc. but interestingly,
back in the '50s he sang the Robin Hood theme for the TV series starring Richard Greene.
The meeting is described in our Music Memoirs book, Gig Notes Section in Chapter 5:

A TV series which probably found favor with many ERB fans was the 1957-61 run of Walt Disney's "Zorro" -- featuring a dashing hero, swordplay, good vs evil, romance.

If Disney had done a series on Tarzan instead, and used the same song-writing team to come up with songs that were true to the original stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, perhaps they would have been inspired to write some special lyrics for an episode based on the chapter in which "Tarzan Rescues the Moon" in "Jungle Tales of Tarzan."

Since the great apes among whom Tarzan was raised had their own name for the moon, "Goro," it would have fit the meter perfectly.

Fiction is replete with masked rider stories, some being good guys and some not-so-good. ERB wrote of a masked highwayman called The Wolf, or The Rider, in 1918. A year later, Johnston McCulley came out with "The Mark of Zorro," the word "zorro" being Spanish for "fox."

Later, ERB had one of his famous heroes, John Carter, go into a Zorro-like mode in "Swords of Mars," although Carter opted for a disguise rather than a mask as he went to Zodanga to dispatch members of the assassin's guild. After dealing with them, John Carter marked the men with an X with the point of his sword, just as Zorro liked to leave behind his Z mark.

Here is a song that might have been part of an old Tarzan series, to the tune of Disney's "Zorro."
Everyone remembers that tune, but in case you don't, see: ZORRO. Then, sing away:

(First verse)
All through the night,
He makes everything bright,
He's the watchman known as Goro.
He shines all night long,
But each morning he's gone,
The watchman known as Goro.

Goro, the moon so shining and free,
Goro (Goro, Goro), He shines a light upon me.

(Second Verse)
Then late one night,
Something strange took a bite,
Of the watchman known as Goro!
I pulled out my bow,
Fired off an arrow,
And rescued my friend Goro!


All the lyrics to Disney's "Zorro": ZORRO LYRICS

Jungle Tales of Tarzan: Graphic Edition
ERBzine 6264  ::  Amazon

Tarzan Rescues the Moon by Joe Jusko: Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Marvel Tarzan No. 7: ERBzine Comics

Jungle Tales of Tarzan Text with
"Tarzan Rescues the Moon"


Perhaps if TV's "Big City" Tarzan attempt had come with a snappy and memorable theme song, it might have been more successful Maybe the lyrics to Petula Clark's enduring hit, "Downtown," could have been adapted for the ape man. Something like this:
(with apologies to Petula Clark and Tony Hatch)
All are agape while staring up at the ape, who's having lots of fun, Downtown.
He never tires as he travels on wires, stunning everyone, Downtown.
Just listen to the twanging as he moves upon the clotheslines,
See the neon flashing as he swings in front of bright signs, How does he stay? ..
.Among the bright lights up there,
As if he had not a worry, and had not a care?
Downtown! What a great sight when you're
Downtown! It's a delight going
Downtown! Tarzan's patrolling for you.

He hangs around with his leaps and his bounds above the movie shows, Downtown.
There isn't any little place you can go Where he will not swing by, Downtown.
Just listen to the yodel that's escaping from his lips now,
It sends a little shiver down your undershirt or slip now.
Doesn't it dear?
You will be happy there,
Heck with your troubles and heck with your cares, you are
Downtown! Home of that cable guy
Downtown! Seeing him swinging by,
Downtown! Tarzan is swinging on high.

Downtown! Downtown!

And you will find he's of a mind to help you if you need him.
Someone who will rescue you from muggers, thugs or vermin
He's always there....Guarding the big city jungle out there,
Making it safe so you needn't be wary of
Downtown! He's on patrol in the
Downtown! He's on a roll in the
Downtown! Tarzan is watching o'er you.

1. Petula Clark's "Downtown" has remained a popular song since it was first released in 1965.
When Travis Fimmel's "Tarzan" went downtown in 2003, the show might have tried using a snappy song like that for its theme.
2. The 2003 Tarzan TV series with Travis Fimmel wasn't very successful, despite the hype.
Perhaps new lyrics to a snappy and popular song such as Petula Clark's "Downtown" would have helped. Then again, maybe not!

More about the 2003 Tarzan TV Series in ERBzine's ERB-TV
Listen to the Original "Downtown"

"The Ballad of Tarzan of the Jungle"
(To the tune of The Ballad of Davy Crockett)
Born in a cabin by the oceanside,
Kept in a cradle 'til his parents died,
Taken by an ape for a treetop ride,
Nursed by Kala ever' time he cried:
Tarzan, of the Jungle, orphaned in his first year.

A little at a time he began to grow,
But the old apes said he was just too slow,
They wanted to kill their whiteskin foe,
But Kala just snarled, and told 'em all No!
Tarzan, of the Jungle, Kala held him dear.

Kneelin' one day by the water's brim,
He saw his reflection starin' back at him,
When up behind come a lion grim,
He jumped in the pool and he learnt how to swim.
Tarzan, of the Jungle, learnin' new things each year.

When he grew up enough to roam,
He happened to find his seaside home,
He got his daddy's knife and a pocket comb,
And learned how to read from an A-B-C tome.
Tarzan, of the Jungle, gettin' hisself some gear.

He used his knife to make a rope,
To kill ol' Sabor and the antelope,
With tools like that he'd more than a hope,
That in the Jungle he always would cope.
Tarzan, of the Jungle, didn't know no fear.

Kerchak ruled with an iron hand,
He cowed and bullied the whole ape band,
But one day Tarzan took a stand,
And wound up the ruler of Mangani land,
Tarzan, of the Jungle, known both far and near.

Into the Jungle come a girl named Jane,
She was lovely but never vain,
For Tarzan and her there met the twain,
A love they knew would not ever wane.
Tarzan, of the Jungle, someone to call him dear.

Fingerprints showed he was the bloke,
Who owned the title of Lord Greystoke,
It came with land and a money poke,
But he never forsook all the Jungle folk.
Tarzan, of the Jungle, known as a British peer.

"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" was an astoundingly popular song and one which is still sung by many today. If Walt had been of a mind to do a Tarzan series on his weekly Disneyland television show back in the mid-50s, a song such as this might well have been written for the ape man, assuming that Disney would actually have followed ERB's original story line!
Fess Parker's "Ballad," short version
Twenty verses of Davy Crockett
Disney's Crockett



"Whatever Happened to Gordon Scott?"
(As not recorded by The Statler Brothers)
Everybody knows when you go to the show, you feel like a kid again.
You wanna see Lex and Herman Brix and Brenda Joyce in a cutoff dress.
You already know what the plot line is, before you see the show:
Tarzan swings and Tarzan yells and makes the jungle go!

Whatever happened to Gordon Scott, swingin' upon a vine?
Whatever happened to Tabler, Pierce, and Casper, Johnny, Denny Miller?
Whatever happened to Gordon Scott, the Tarzan of my teens?
Whatever happened to Gordon Scott? He's livin' in my memory!

Everybody looks back on those films with happy memories.
Tarzan the Ape Man, Savage Fury, Huntress, Fearless, Lost Safari,
You don't need to take a shrink along to help explain the show:
Tarzan fights and Tarzan wins and the bad guys have to go.

Whatever happened to Buster Crabbe, divin' into a pool,
Whatever happened to Jock Mahoney, Elmo Lincoln, Glenn and Ely,
Whatever happened to Miles O'Keeffe, Merrill and Mike Henry?
Whatever happened to all of these? They're swingin' in my memory!
Whatever happened to Gordon Scott? He's livin' in my memory!
- - - - -
Statler Brothers: “Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott


Many enjoyed George of the Jungle, so would we have liked
a Munsters-like takeoff on the ape-man titled The Tarzans?
The Munsters was a television series from 1964 to 1966 and Ron Ely's Tarzan debuted in 1966. What if things had gone somewhat differently in that era and the TV moguls had instead developed Tarzan as a sit-com? We might have seen something in the style of The Munsters with:
Yvonne de Carlo as the sinister La,
Al Lewis as Professor Porter,
Beverley Owen or Pat Priest as Jane,
Manuel Padilla Jr. as Jai, or Boy
Joe E. Ross as Cheetah, and...
Gordon Scott as Tarzan!
There were lyrics to The Munsters theme (hear them on youtube). But instead of talking about Munsters "following you" they could have been about The Tarzans "rescuing you."
As in this, sung to the tune of The Musters theme:
. . . . .
When you go to Africa,
And you walk down a dark jungle trail
You know you're not in America,
Cause the residents each have a tail.
See the lion charge at you,
With his mouth showing all of his teeth,
Monkeys throwing fruit at you,
And the snakes coming up from beneath.
--Up above, you hear the rustling leaves,
--Down below, are many more pet peeves,
--And all are out to eat up you,
--If the Tarzans aren't rescuing you!
La is coming to capture you,
She is pretty but not very nice!
Unless the Tarzans rescue you,
You'll be her next sacrifice!
Gimla's lyin' in wait for you,
If you go for a dip in the pool;
Cannibals want to barbecue,
And the main course is gonna be YOU!
--Up ahead, a leopard in the brush,
--Plans to give you quite a scary rush,
--And the apes will sit on you,
--If the Tarzans aren't rescuing you!
To fit the lyrics to the tune, listen to this a couple of times:

Joe E. Ross signed to play Cheetah and La with her sacrificial knife kit.



Ron Ely's "Tarzan" was on the air from 1966 to 1968. During that time, "The Beverly Hillbillies" debuted (September, 1967).
In the latter, a hillbilly family strikes it rich and moves to Hollywood, where comic situations run riot as the back-country folks try to adjust to Southern California life.

What if, the creative team that imagined the hillbilly show had, instead, come up with the idea for what life would be like for Tarzan and his family when they moved from Africa to London? You might have seen Donna Douglas as Jane, Buddy Ebsen as Professor Porter, Irene Ryan as a politically correct Esmeralda, and Max Baer Jr. as Tarzan himself.

Raymond Bailey (the banker in Hillbillies) might have played Tarzan's London financial manager and Nancy Kulp could have been Lady D'Arnot.
Would we have hated it or loved it?

In any case, if the same song-writing team had been hired, we might have lyrics like this running through our heads, to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme song:

- - - - -
Come listen to a story 'bout a man named Tarz,
Livin' in the jungle where they weren't a' driving cars
And then one day he was minding his own biz,
When up to his cabin came a pretty young mizz...

(A girl, that is. Blonde hair. Blue eyes.)

Well the first thing you know, Tarz calls 'er "My dear,"
And the young gal says, "Tarz, move away from here."
She said "An English castle is the place to have some fun,
“So grab some gold from Opar and we'll go to London.”

{Pea soup city that is. The Big Smoke. Big Ben)

And the show-closing stanza.....
Now it's time to say goodbye to Tarzan's jungle kin,
The Mangani are wavin' bye as tears flow down their chin;
They hope that Tarz will tire soon of Britain and its queen,
And come on back to Dum Dum land to star for Normal Bean.

(Ape style, that is. Scratch your back. Eat a bug. You chaps come back now, righto!)


Disneyland never got around to doing more than converting the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse to a Tarzan Treehouse, but if they'd gone further, they might have altered the nearby Pirates of the Caribbean ride to a trip down a river in Tarzan’s jungle, complete with Mangani dancing the Dum-Dum.
And, of course, those Mangani would be singing the Dum-Dum song, just as the pirates there now sing the Yo-Ho song.
Here's them pirates singing it. Give a listen mateys and then sing the Dum-Dum version below.

Dum-Dum, Dum-Dum, we dance the dance of death!
We're beetle-browed simians, big hulking shapes,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum,
We're the Mangani, the African apes,
DumDum, Mangani, Dum-Dum!
Dum-Dum, Dum-Dum, we dance the dance of death.
We're big and we're brutal and hairy and scary,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum,
Sometimes we're friendly and sometimes contrary,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum!
Dum-Dum, Dum-Dum, we dance the dance of death!
We rhumba and samba, we twist and we shout,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum,
And nobody ever sits any dance out,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum!
Dum-Dum, Dum-Dum, we dance the dance of death.
We lumber and swagger, we jump and we spin,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum,
The Jungle resounds to the deafening din,
Dum-Dum, Mangani, Dum-Dum!
Dum-Dum, Dum-Dum, we dance the dance of death ( fadeout).
- - - - -

Illustration: Tarzan joins the great apes for the Dum-Dum (by Frazetta)

Disney missed a good bet by not recycling some of their old movie songs for the 1999 "Tarzan."
This is to the tune of the "Snow White and Seven Dwarfs" song, "Dig! Dig! Dig!,"
to be sung as the apes are grooming each other and consuming the products of grooming).
Here’s the original:
And here’s the Tarzan version:
(Ape Chorus)
We pick pick pick pick pick pick pick,
We pick the whole day through,
We pick pick pick pick pick pick pick,
That's what we like to do!
(Ape Solo)
We pick the fleas and worms and mites,
From each ape's hard-to-reach-to sites,
Then we eat, all we find,
And we don’t really mind
As some ape picks at our behind!
(Ape Chorus)
We pick pick pick pick pick pick pick pick
And sing our picking song,
We pick pick pick pick pick pick pick
We pick the whole day long.
(Ape Solo)
We pick up rocks and logs and sticks,
To search for grubs and snails and ticks
(Ape Trio)
What a way, for a day,
To be happ'ly whiled away!
(Ape Chorus)
We pick pick pick...etc. repeat to fadeout).

---a Boy Named Boy---
(with apologies to Johnny Cash and Shel Silverstein)

Well I left home when I was grown
And set out to wander on my own
And find me some lost land people I could annoy
Tarzan and Jane said "Good luck, kid,"
But the worst thing that they ever did,
Was when I was young they went and named me "Boy."
Well it got lots of laughs from lots of chimps,
Cause the name of "Boy" is just for wimps,
So sometimes the folks eased off and called me "Jack."
But I went out killed me a lion or two
A panther, a croc and a fat gnu
And earned me the great ape moniker of "Korak."
One day I rescued this young gal
From a mean slave trader, who wanted to sell
Her to a Kur businessman from the planet Gor,
And after we hung out for awhile
I noticed she had such a pretty smile
That I asked her to be my love forevermore.
So we settled down and then one day,
We went back to Mom & Dad's to stay,
And the first thing I heard was Tarzan callin' me "Boy,"
Well, Meriem laughed and I got red
And felt like I'd rather just drop dead
And felt like runnin' away to Illinois!
So now I prowl the jungle alone
While Meriem and Mom and Dad stay home,
And don't even come to rescue me when I slip up,
But I made one vow to Goro and friends
That if Meriem and I ever make amends
And have a kid, I'm going to name him...
...Wait a minute...What makes me think it'll be a "him"?

By John “Bridge” Martin
When I was growing up I'd haunt the drugstore corner nooks,
Where I would find a section with those good Dell comic books.
Sometimes in a wooden rack or else a wire spinner,
A quarter for the "Giant" size; a dime for those t'were thinner.

But back then even thinner ones would please a comic lover,
For, "A 52-page Comic" said the lett'ring on the cover.
Nowadays they're thinner still in all except the price!
The cost seems to have tripled, and then quadrupled thrice!

I knew the value of a dime and also of a buck
From economic principles espoused by Scrooge McDuck,
The Junior Woodchucks taught me of survival in the woods
While Unca Donald hung around the Duckburg neighborhoods

Little Lulu was a gal who knew her way around,
Whenever trouble followed her a good way out she found,
Sometimes mean Witch Hazel and the nasty Little Itch
Would steal her beebleberries 'cause they thought it'd make them rich.

Tubby wore a sailor hat and munched on candy bars,
And sometimes had adventures with the Little Men from Mars;
He and Lulu were good friends, but sometimes had their feuds,
Eddie, Iggy, Annie were among the other dudes.

If you missed your Saturday with cowboys on TV,
There were no VCRs with episodes for you to see.
And so instead of reruns we bought comics from the stand
With Roy and Gene and Tonto -- and who was that Masked Man?

That Ranger, 'long with Roy and Gene astride their valiant steeds,
Would keep the owl hoots from succeeding in their dirty deeds,
While underneath sombreros, the Cisco Kid and Pancho,
Rode the paint, Diablo, and the palomino, Loco.

There were also comics of some cowboy steeds, of course,
"Hi-Yo Silver" featured "The Lone Ranger's Famous Horse."
Roy Rogers' favorite, Trigger, and Gene Autry's Champion
Would have their own adventures when their riders' work was done.

Tarzan roamed through Africa without a hint of fear,
With backup stories featuring the Brothers of the Spear;
Turok was the Son of Stone; the Lost Land was his thing,
Monster Isle was the land of Kona, Jungle King.

Granny's cat, Sylvester, offered Tweety Bird no rest,
While Tom went after Jerry, and made himself a pest.
Elmer Fudd made hunting Daffy Duck into a habit,
And just as often aimed his gun at that Wascally Wabbit

Another one was Woody, not the one of Pixar fame,
But back then a Woodpecker was the one who bore that name.
Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, others in New Funnies,
Had to fight for shelf space with the popular Bugs Bunny.

Popeye had harassment from the Sea Hag and her son;
Zorro fought an army but he was the one who won;
Jungle Jim, John Carter, Tom Corbett Space Cadet,
Felix, Davy Crockett, and many others yet.

Nowadays there's DVDs and Netflix and Blue Rays,
To watch cartoons and cowboy shows in many different ways,
But back then we had none of those to get a second look,
So we'd settle for new stories in our favorite comic book.

It would seem that Tarzan’s feet might acquire some undesirable elements. But, on the other hand…

 By John Martin
When I come home each day, I'm beat.
I plop down in my chair.
I peel my shoes and stockings off
To give my feet some air.
I kick back in my Lazy Boy,
My toes are free to wiggle;
If someone were to tickle them,
I'd probably yield a giggle.
Then I recall I went and left
Some groceries in the car.
I'll just run out and get them
'Cause it isn't very far.
Put on my shoes for this short trip?
(I'm not a sissy lotus!)
A short run out, a short run back,
My feet will hardly notice.
So out the door I scamper,
My bare feet pounding ground,
I feel a bit like Tarzan
With every single bound.
But then a tiny little rock
With pointy little tip,
Finds my foot's most tender spot;
I give a little yip.
And then another little rock,
And then some little toy.
Ouch! Ouch! I shout, but on I go,
That pain won't stop this boy!
I finally make it out and back;
My feet are sore and wet.
I sit back down and tend to them
For the relief I'll get.
How can my feet be strong enough
To keep me standing tall,
Yet be so weak, each little jab
Will send me up the wall?
And then I think of Tarzan,
That barefoot gent of fiction,
Who gets around just fine unshod
Without the slightest friction.
In "Untamed," ERB said Tarzan's feet,
Were never sore nor raw;
They always seemed to land just right,
'Twas just as though they saw.
And so I marvel as I sit
And read upon my couch:
How Tarzan never walks or runs
While saying, "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"

Click for full-size promo


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2020 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.