this song is so much fun! i'm singing it on my proficiency, so i thought i'd tell you all about it before hand, dr. s.
it begins with a crazy three bar intro (i know, you're thinking...why not four? well that's heggie for ya'). when the vocals come in "hi, said the little old leather-winged bat", the accompaniment drops away to random chords on 1 and 3. once the singer gets to the 'refrain' ("hi-o-day-o-diddle-o-down...") the accompaniment picks up again and is very steady.
this song talks about a leather-winged bat, a woodpecker, a bluebird, and a robin. all have different personalities as is evident by the accompaniment. the woodpecker: eigth notes in the left hand; bluebird: floating melody in right hand; robin and bat both have sparse accompaniments. everytime the refrain has the same accompaniment. we could say that it's ABCBDBEB' but at the end (B') the singer goes up to an A, which as i've already discussed with dr. s. is quite high for a mezzo. but...it's hot, what can i say?
sort of random: everynow and then heggie will throw in an extra two beats, not making a 2/4 bar or a 6/4 bar, there's just a dotted line and then two more beats. this extra two beats, however, always comes right before a transition either into or out of the B section. pretty cool, huh? yeah...heggie's hot.
p.s. he's coming here next year for a masterclass! i know...it's hot...you don't have to say it, i'm thinking it too :)