"Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)" is a Grammy Award-winning novelty song by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch, based on letters of complaint Allan received from his son Robert while Robert attended Camp Champlain in Westport, New York.
The song is a parody that complains about the fictional "Camp Granada" and is set to the tune of Amilcare Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours". The name derives from the first lines:Hello Muddah,
Here I am at
Camp is very
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining
The lyrics go on to describe unpleasant, dangerous, and tragic developments, such as fellow campers going missing or contracting deadly illnesses. He asks how his "precious little brother" is doing, and begs to be taken home, afraid of being left out in the forest and fearing getting eaten by a bear, promising to behave, and even letting his aunt Bertha hug and kiss him. At the end, he notes that the rain has stopped and fun activities have begun (such as swimming, sailing, and baseball), and asks his parents to "kindly disregard this letter".
After the song scored #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list for three weeks beginning August 24, 1963, Sherman wrote a new 'back at Camp Granada' version, "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh!", for a May 27, 1964, performance on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Sherman wrote a third version for, and acted in, a 1965 TV commercial for a board game about Camp Granada, a "real rotten camp".
The song won a 1964 Grammy Award for comedy. The song was played often on the Dr. Demento Show and is featured on the Rhino Records compilation album, Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection.
Variations of the song include translations in Swedish ("Brev från kolonien" by Cornelis Vreeswijk), Finnish ("Terve mutsi, terve fatsi, tässä teidän ihmelapsi") and Norwegian ("Brev fra leier'n" by Birgit Strøm). The Finnish version is included in the Finnish Boy Scouts' songbook. The Swedish version notably does not revolve around the camper hating the camp, but is about the kids running roughshod over it and having run off all the counselors, one of whom has committed suicide after they let a snake into the mess hall, and the organizer of the camp being arrested by police after the kids start a forest fire. The song begins with the boy writing the letter asking his parents to send more money, because he has lost all his pocket money playing dice with the other campers. The song then ends with the boy having to wrap up the letter as he is about to join the others in burning down the neighboring camp lodge.
The Dutch version Brief uit la Courtine sung bij Rijk de Gooyer is not about a children's summer camp, but about a soldier in the Dutch army camp at La Courtine, France.
An episode of The Simpsons, "Kamp Krusty", borrowed some elements of the song for the main plot where the children of Springfield get unlucky at their most anticipated camp. The song itself appeared on the episode "Marge Be Not Proud" when Bart changed their answering machine message with the song so that his parents would not find out that he was shoplifting. The song is also included in an episode of The King of Queens, "Tube Steaks", where it is one of Arthur Spooner's workout songs.
The song is also featured in the "I Dream of Jesus" Family Guy episode, in a joke using an animated 45rpm record.