Kalamazoo To Timbuktu – Music by Alec Wilder Lyrics by Marshall Barer

Music by Alec Wilder
Lyrics by Marshall Barer
You can hear the song here
This is a lovely, silly, little  love song with a great melody and some funny lyrics by Marshall.
Registered for copyright on 11-15-1951
Recorded by Mitch Miller


To Timbuktu
To Timbuktu
To Timbuktu
To Timbuktu

There’s a train by the station
In Kalamazoo
And it soon will be leaving
On track number two
I heard the conductor say
It’s going a long long way
It’s going all the way
From Kalamazoo To Timbuktu

Todeli-ho-ho-ho Good-bye
Kalamazoo-o-o Good-bye
Mr. Engineer be sure the track is clear
We’re going all the way from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu

I got a guy in Timbuktu as sweet as he can be
But I left a guy in Kalamazoo who got a claim on me

So Todeli-ho-ho-ho to you
Wonderful guy of Timbuktu
When we say goodbye
Don’t let me see you cry
Just give me one more kiss and then
I’m aiming back to Kalamazoo again


Kalamazoo ( /ˌkæləməˈzuː/) is the largest city in the southwest region of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Kalamazoo County.
Timbuktu (pronounced /ˌtɪmbʌkˈtuː/; Koyra Chiini:Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou), formerly also Timbuctoo, is a town in the West African nation of Mali situated 15 km (9.3 mi) north of the River Niger on southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali.
Since both cities sounds sounds unusual to English-speaking ears “from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo” has become a metonym for exotic places.

6 thoughts on “Kalamazoo To Timbuktu – Music by Alec Wilder Lyrics by Marshall Barer

  1. From my childhood I remember a quite different version:

    In Timbuktu the sky is pink, and the sun shines overhead.
    But in Kalamazoo the sky is blue, and the trees are green and red.
    Turn this train around!
    Kalamazoo we’re homeward bound!….

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