I Got Your Ice Cold NuGrape

“I Got Your Ice Cold NuGrape” is a wonderful song. Get it here from the Internet Archive. I got it on the 2006 music issue sampler CD of the Oxford American. I liked it, but forgot about it. Then I checked out Times Ain’t Like They Used to Be from the library. I am back on the hook.

It is difficult to say quite why it is so good. Advertising usually leads to less appealing art, and this song is all about NuGrape. The song leaves listeners wondering what, if anything, NuGrape cannot do for its consumers. The recording group is the NuGrape Twins, further erasing the already absent doubt that they are shills. Their identity hinged on this carbonated wonder beverage so deeply that I found little information about them, not even something as simple as their real names. Their relationship to one another and to NuGrape is their enduring identity.

The harmony is a big part of its appeal. Reportedly, the two singers really were brothers. Family groups often have that special tightness. In each verse, the high singer delivers a syllable or two before the low singer joins. In two part harmony, the high part often carries the melody against a realtively simpler low part, and it largely holds true for the verses of this song. Then in the refrains, both parts are good enough to stand on their own as melodies. The jaggedness of the verses adds to the song. Some lines are a little long for the meter. They work them over the melody without breaking the continuity. The piano break in the middle is something special, too. It is just enough different from verses. I worked out a reasonable approximation on guitar. As a respite from listening to the song over and over and over, I play it over and over and over.

I am not the only one so smitten. One fellow wrote that he wanted to post about it for two years. His transcription of the lyrics is good considering the difficulty of understanding old 78s.

Listen if you dare. You might get a craving for grape soda. I could not find NuGrape in my Schnucks. I got Fitz’s.


Michael M. on September 7th 2008 in General, Music, Recorded

2 Responses to “I Got Your Ice Cold NuGrape”

  1. Michael Leddy responded on 07 Sep 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Michael,

    Re: NuGrape — try World Market or another store that sells “specialty” sodas (small brands, usually made with cane sugar). That’s the only place I’ve ever seen NuGrape (or Moxie).

  2. Michael M. responded on 08 Sep 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you for the tip. I have bought Moxie at a local World Market store. I found it and NuGrape as Orca Beverage Nostalgic Sodas. NuGrape is also a product of Big Red.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.