hi-de hi-de

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 11 14:56:46 UTC 2001

In a message dated 7/11/01 10:33:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time, pds at VISI.COM

> A friend found the following use of "hi-de hi-de" as a transitive verb on a
>  piano roll.  She and I are wonder what it means.  A search of my slang
>  dictionaries, ADS-L Archives, AltaVista ("to hi-de"), and a direct inquiry
>  to Gerald Cohen all came up blank.
>  >Quotation:     "Didn't you even try to hi-de hi-de me?"
>  >
>  >context:
>  >Always thought that yours was such a heart of gold,
>  >But after I was sold on all the tales you told,
>  >Didn't you let your kisses turn from hot to cold?
>  >Was that the human thing to do?
>  >
>  >How you let me fall and how you let me be,
>  >And when I begged you for a little sympathy,
>  >Didn't you even try to hi-de hi-de me?
>  >Was that the human thing to do?

It's mispelled.  I tried "hi-dee" on AltaVista and got 1519 hits.

"Hi-dee" and its numerous variants such as "hi-dee-ho" is a greeting.  I
suspect that it's a variant of "howdy" which M-W 10th Collegiate identifies
as "alter. of _how do ye_" and dates as 1712.

Hence the second stanza you quoted appears to mean something like

And when I begged you for a little sympathy,
Didn't you even try to [call me up and say hi to me]?

Probably not relevant, but when I was in Basic Training at Fort Knox in 1969
there was an African-American drill sergeant whose favorite marching chant

    Hi-dee Hi-dee Hi-dee hey
    Hi-dee Hi-dee Hi-dee ho
    Up and down the hills we go
    Forty hours every day
        It's the Fort Knox boogie
        What a crazy sound

                  - Jim Landau  (who still lays square eggs)

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