Doris Day Sings Atomic Rock – An Ode To The Geiger Counter

In 1949 Doris Day hailed the magic of uranium in a Hollywood musical

doris day


Uranium was all the go in the post War years. Military and civilian demand for uranium was up. Keen to tap into the zeitgeist of mining for disaster, Hollywood studio Warner Bros. added a dose of radiation to it’s musical My Dream Is Yours, a 1949 Technicolor musical romantic comedy remake of Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934). With music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Ralph Blaine, for a surefire hit it only needed America’s box-office sweetheart Doris Day (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) to play the rising star looking for her big break. At one point Day summons her considerable panache and valiantly gives full throat to a song called Tic Tic Tic.

ConelRad takes up the story of how the nuances and weaves of history became blended with lightness and gaiety:

Young, fresh and radiant Doris Day comes to Hollywood to audition for a network radio show called “Hour of Enchantment.” For reasons known only to her promoter (played by Jack Carson), on her big day, she belts out a love song about a Geiger counter. Day sings the undeniably catchy tune with such enthusiasm she wins everyone (even Eve Arden) over but the show’s sponsor. The fatcat dismisses it as “boogie woogie” and “too modern.”

A mere four years after the US had dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively), Day was hailing Hans Geiger’s (30 September 1882 – 24 September 1945) invention of 1928 – the German physicist’s eponymous machine for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation.


doris day funny


The lyrics are repeated here in full:


Oh, give me your attention, there’s been a new invention
It isn’t any larger than an adding machine
It’s only fair to mention, though it’s a new invention
It’s one that you have heard about, but few have ever seen

It doesn’t do division and it doesn’t multiply
It doesn’t want to be a bird, it doesn’t try to fly
It came about because they made a big atomic bomb
The new invention’s clicking and because of all its ticking
I know where the idea came from
I tic, tic, tic, why do I tic, tic?

What amazing trick makes me tic, tic, tic
I tic, tic, tic an electric tic
When I feel a realistic tic
You’re such an attractive pick
You give me a radioactive kick
It’s distracted the way you stick
But love, love makes me tic
I tic, tic, tic and my heart beats quick

How can anything go wrong?
When I’m listening to that Geiger counter song
I tic, tic all day long
I tic, tic, tic, why do I tic, tic?
What amazing trick makes me tic, tic, tic, tic, tic
I tic, tic, tic an electric tic

When I feel a realistic tic
The butcher and the baker tic
So does the maker of the candlesticks
Lawyers have their politics
But love, love makes them tic
So tic, tic, tic, let your heart tic, tic
How can anything go wrong
If you’re listening to that Geiger counter song
You’ll tic, tic all day long
Like the butcher and baker tics
Like the candlestick maker tics
Like the doctor and the lawyer tics

Even though he’s mixed up in his politics
Like the merchant and the Indian chief tic tics
Like the poor, like the rich man tic tic tics

Digging a ditch man, the butter and egg man
The poor wooden leg man, the beggar and thief
All found out what its all about
When its love, you can’t be wrong
You better listen to that Geiger counter song
And tic tic all day long

Tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic. TIC!


As you unpack the words and mull them over, before the song at the end of this post, here are a few stills and lobby cards from the movie:


doris day my dram is yours


doris day my dream is yours

doris day my dream is yours

my dream is yours doris day

doris day rabbit

Day, Doris (My Dream is Yours)_01


And now for our main event. Take it way, Doris Day…




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