Where are you going, Ronaldo?
February 22, 2009 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify a song my grandmother with Alzheimers sings sometimes: "Where are you going Ronaldo? I go to Las Vegas"...

My grandma sings this song sometimes and I haven't been able to find it on google. The lyrics she sings are:

Where are you going, Ronaldo?
I go to Las Vegas.
What do you do in Las Vegas?
I live on a house by the bay

Ronaldo he fishes
she washes the dishes
In our little house by the bay

Has anyone heard this song before? Grandma's in her 80s and the song is likely very old-school. I'd like to hear the complete version or know who sang it. Thanks!
posted by TimeTravelSpeed to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This more doubles the dead end than anything, but--I tried googling "Reynaldo" instead of "Ronaldo" and came up with this:

Hi there, I'm hoping you can help me find a song from the 30s-40s that my Dad (who is 82) is trying to find. He's in pretty bad shape, and I'd like to find this for him while he can still enjoy it. It's a song he said he heard on the radio as a boy and he still sings sometimes. The lyrics are:
"Oh where are you going, Reynaldo?"
"I go to San Pedro"
"And what do you do in San Pedro?"
"I find my coquette and I say: Si si, si si...my pidgeon I love you so!"
I've search the internet under: "Oh where are you going Reynaldo/Hernando/Fernando" and nothing comes up.

posted by hippugeek at 12:25 PM on February 22, 2009

Another possible dead end, but I wonder if it's the same "In My Little House by the Bay" mentioned here?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:40 PM on February 22, 2009

A search at Amazon.com turned up some lyrics matching those quoted by hippugeek above on page 164 of George MacDonald Fraser's WWII memoir Quartered Safe Out Here. He remembers them being sung by Bing Crosby, but does not give the song's title.
posted by misteraitch at 12:54 PM on February 22, 2009

Here's someone else looking:

I'm looking for the name/lyrics of a song from the 1930's. The lyrics are something like
Where are you from, Renaldo?
I'm from (somewhere like Puerto Rico or San Juan)
Where are you going, Renaldo?
I'm going to _____

And the song continues about how Renaldo is going to find a woman he left behind and is going to bring her back to his Latin American country.

My father says he heard it on the radio 3 or 4 times back in the 1930's, then he never heard it again, and he's been wracking his brains lately trying to think of the lyrics (you know how it is when you get a song in your head, lol).

I came across this web site when I was searching for lyrics and thought maybe someone here would recognize it.

Thanks much,

posted by Miko at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2009

I was trying to think about where you could go next to find this, given the scarcity of documentation on the web. Some places to explore:

1. Old-time radio geeks. There are many. Google up some of their forums and ask your question there.

2. Sing Out! magazine has a column called The Songfinder which exists for inquiries like yours. Every month the author puts out inquiries for several songs and reports back on previous searches.

3. Music professors - maybe at your state university, maybe not. Try Googling up some people whose area of expertise includes 30s and 40s pop.
posted by Miko at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2009

when did las vegas get a bay?
posted by swbarrett at 2:24 PM on February 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Could it be "In My Little House by the Bay," , referenced here in a list of old pop music. Described as a Latin American song in English.
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:59 PM on February 22, 2009

You don't necessarily need old-time radio geeks, you may just need other old people.
Give a call to your local retirement home and ask if it would be ok for you to come and run the question past a couple of their older, but lucid, residents.
posted by Iteki at 6:27 PM on February 22, 2009

Try asking this guy - his webpage is way out of date, but he is a singer who has used the phrase "little house by the bay" on his website. If it's a line from a song, he'll probably know.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:16 PM on February 22, 2009

More recent contact info for GypsyJack and his band The Substitute Preachers.

I've a strong suspicion those guys will know. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:20 PM on February 22, 2009

Supposedly a San Pedro-based band called their first album Where Are You Going? I can find no other evidence of it, though. Oh, here's a MySpace from the brothers in the band, and this strange set of pages from the publisher. Oh, here's that song (here too) and it has no apparent connection. Coincidence or homage? Well, OK, that was an interesting dead end.

I did check Bing Crosby's discography on AllMusic and found nothing like "R[o/ey]naldo", "San Pedro", "Where Are You [Going/Taking Her]", or "Little House [on/by] the Bay", nor did anything likely come up during a general song title search.

Nor did a search of Last.fm help.
posted by dhartung at 12:06 AM on February 23, 2009

I took another look in Fraser's book and found the following in its introduction (on page XV):
But why should I remember just as plainly that a cigarette smoked during an ambush on the Sittang was a brand called Panama, or hear so clearly Bing Crisby singing "The Wedding Song of Reynaldo" on the company set in a basha on the Rangoon road...
But there's no reference to a song named thus in the Crosby discography either.
posted by misteraitch at 2:47 AM on February 23, 2009

Best answer: Here's a strong candidate: Sammy Fain & Irving Kahal's Love Song Of Renaldo, written in 1940, for a show called the Royal Palm Revue.
posted by misteraitch at 3:54 AM on February 23, 2009

Best answer: There's a playable snippet of the song here, which includes mention of a house by the bay, and indeed of Las Vegas!
posted by misteraitch at 6:51 AM on February 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks misteraitch! I listened to the snippet and that is most definitely the song she sings. Her lyrics are a bit mis-matched it seems, but I'll forgive her that ;)

Thanks for all the research, everyone. I'll look around and maybe find an mp3 or lyrics and give them to her. She is getting more and more detached, so it might feel nice for her to hear this song and make a connection with something she seems to remember solidly enough.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 9:11 AM on February 23, 2009

Not an mp3, but the sheet music is for sale.
posted by nomisxid at 10:55 AM on February 23, 2009

I bow to misteraitch. The only listing for "Love Song of Renaldo" that Allmusic has, and google doesn't dispute its uniqueness, is Jan Garber & Orchestra, 1939-1941. This is available on CD a couple places such as here. The vocalist Fritz Heilbron handles this "dumb, corney novelty tune" per AMG's reviewer. I suppose it's possible that Crosby performed it live, but never recorded it.

A number of sources trace it at least as far as the Royal Palm Revue, described as a 1940 "Los Angeles showcase" with Rudy Vallee and others. Interestingly, in 1940 Kahal and Fain (famous for "I'll Be Seeing You" and other standards) composed a musical Boys and Girls Together with a Latin theme; I wonder if it was a discard from that production.
posted by dhartung at 9:41 AM on February 24, 2009

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