Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LLBean's "Big Rock Candy Mountain" backpack commercial

I am loving the new L.L.Bean Backpack sale commercial featuring the old folk song "Big Rock Candy Mountain."

(Found these ads on L.L.Bean's YouTube page.)

Interested in getting one?? Shop L.L.Bean backpacks!

Here's a screenshot of



Matt said...


Do you (or anyone here) know where they are hiking in this commerical

I love the commerical as well, but would love to know where they shot it ... the scene towards the end showing mountains near the sea/water is really beautiful


Lizasan said...

Sorry, Matt... I don't know! If I find out, I'll be sure to post the answer :) Gorgeous scenery!

gotcopy said...

Are you aware of the other lyrics of the song that LL Bean conveniently left out, so as not to offend or contradict their squeaky clean image?

And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees

All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth

And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks

There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too

Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work

This song was not originally written to sell expensive backbacks. It was to cheer up the homeless who were tired of empty promises.

And how about those cell phone ads featuring music of a true poet, Nick Drake, a deeply troubled young man who died in his early 20s of a drug overdose because he could not "connect" with people. Who owns his music, I wonder???

Anyway, enjoy your ads, Sheeple!!

gotcopy said...

Wow--- I found some more gems about this song. Betcha LL Bean wouldn't want THIS leaked:

From Wikipedia:

Before recording the song, McClintock cleaned it up considerably from the version he sang as a street busker in 1897. Originally the song described a child being recruited into hobo life by tales of the "big rock candy mountain".

Such recruitment actually occurred, with hobos enchanting children with tales of adventure called ghost stories by other hobos.

In proof of his authorship of the song, McClintock published the original words, the last stanza of which was:

The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, "Sandy,
I've hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain't seen any candy.
I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I'll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."

WHOA! How about that penultimate line! Being buggered doesn't really jibe with hiking around Acadia in your duck shoes!

As a musician and music lover, I know classic songs are used in ads all the time, mostly because people are too damn stupid and cheap to write original jingles any more. I guess nothing is sacred, especially in ad land.

TBear said...

It has been long understood by musicologists that this song was a rather blatant recruiting device used by the "hobo" population to recruit young boys to satisfy the carnal needs of the hobo population. Whether McClintock wrote it or was just the first to "formalize" it by writing down a true folk tune is an open question. The lines McClintock provides from his busking days:
"To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore / In the Big Rock Candy Mountains" don't leave much to the imagination about what was going on.

Folk musicians like the rest of our society tend to sanitize and deny most anything of this nature. It really surprises me that no one at LLBean or it's ad agency raised an objection to this song. I would have thought that they would have run away from this potential tarnish on their wholesome image. I truly would have expected this commercial to end up on YouTube along with all the other banned commercials.