Featuring Bubble Bobble and early 20th century pop.
Greetings fellow game music lovers,
this entry is a quasi update to a Twitter entry I made several months ago regarding a possible inspiration for the original Bubble Bobble theme from 1986:
Back then I suspected a certain japanese folk rock son, detailed below, to be the major inspiration at least for the second part of the song. Then I realized, that the song had a particular carousel-like feeling to it. Like from a carnival. Carnivals were at the height of their popularity between 1890-1920, so I concentrated my search on songs from that era. And indeed, I found some songs that have a surprisingly similar structure to the Bubble Bobble theme.
Let's start with the first part of the song at 0:08:
Arthur Pryor Band - The Whistler and His Dog (1913):
"The Waggle O' The Kilt"- Harry Lauder 1917:
Billy Murray What's the Matter with Father 1910:
Isham Jones - Junk Man (1934):
During the early 20th century, pop music was heavily interspersed with military marching music. So it isn't surprising that you find something comparable there as well:
Vor die Front Marsch, Carl Teike, before 1922:
Now for the second part of the song that starts at 0:23:
A few months ago I heard through long lists of japanese folk music when I ran into this gem, "関白宣言" ( Kanpaku Sengen ) by Masashi Sada from 1979:
I was very happy to find this at first. Then I threw it into google only to find out that someone else had found it too and beaten me by mere ten days. :(
Nevertheless, I'd still like to give an update on that too: I suspect that this song, and consequently also the Bubble Bobble theme, carries strong influences from early 20th century pop just as the first part of the melody. Let me give you some examples of what I mean:
April Showers - Al Jolson (1921):
Invercargill march 1901 by Alex Lithgow:
Phew, this was a treat. Sunday wrap up for David Wise!