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7 comments on this post.
  1. Geoffrey:

    I always assumed the lyric “toddlin'” in “Chicago, Chicago” published by Fred Fisher in 1922 was used to infer the term strut, a pompous, self-important gait, meaning Chicago was “It” in the Clara Bow-Elinor Glyn, Roaring 20s sense of the word. The Darktown Strutters Ball and Stomping At The Savoy also come to mind as describing happening, lively places full of action and movement, rather than being quiet, dull or sedate.

  2. Denise Rose:

    Wasnt “The Toddle” a dance of the 20s ? I thought that’s what the word means in the song lyric !

  3. scott anderson:

    I was also curious about the origins of “that toddlin’ town”; came across your website, but still no luck. Then I recalled hearing somewhere that the “toodle-oo” in “East St. Louis Toodle-oo” was once pronounced something more like, “toddle -o”. I found this site/page:
    It seems to shed some more light if you don’t mind wading through the scholarly verbiage. Looks like ” toddlin’ “could be a sensual dance/tottering walk/approach to life.

  4. Ben:

    Just a thought, but as America’s “Second City,” it’s not inconcievable that Fisher imagined Chicago “toddling along” in the shadow of its “fully grown” counterpart in New York.

  5. Doug:

    Denise is correct. The Toddle was a style of dancing used with the jazz music of the 20’s when this song was written. It was popular in Chicago, and a variation of the style was even called “the Chicago.” The song is about Chicago’s jazz-oriented night life during the flapper era. “You’ll lose the blues” and have the time of your life — maybe even dance with your wife!

  6. Pete Lacaba:

    This dance website says that the toddle was a dance that had “a smack of jazz” and was “an offshoot of the foxtrot”:

  7. rob:

    Second city refers to the chicago fire which resulted in most of chicago being rebuilt – today’s chicago is the second city.
    Not New Yorks little brother.

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