After two walls of text I owe you some light entertainment.
I have learned from the comments on this post that the song has been ingrained in the minds of American children in the 1960s and 1970s. True, I hear it in my dreams now, too. It’s Slinky, It’s Slinky! For fun it’s the best of the toys …
This is a service to my non-US and non-CA readers. Go indulge in this very retro black and white version:
Mind the delayed motions of the animals’ hindquarters (and their funny voices). I believe they give prove of the slinky’s secret as discussed in these comments: The bottom of the falling slinky needs some time to notice that the top had been released. In a similar way, the rear parts need time to notice that the animal has been pushed.
When walking down a stair, the segment of slinky that touches the next step of the staircase first needs to wait quite a while until it starts moving up again – in contrast to jumping compression spring or a rubber ball.
But the most important question to me was:
Which 1970s ad has influenced us over here in middle Europe?
The first one that came to my mind was hard to find although many people seem to search the internet – posting heartbreaking requests: Does somebody have this video? I would pay any price!
So this is it: In German, very short, probably recorded by filming the TV version on a phone. It is an ad for detergents – I believe you get the message, the language barrier notwithstanding. It is about people being very happy with their clean and soft laundry, but – and this was maybe revolutionary: No Happy Housewife in this commercial, but little cartoon characters inhabiting your laundry:
These creatures have a legendary name – a literal translation would be: The Fabric Charmers. This name and this jingle has been ingrained to the brains of German speaking children. I have found websites featuring the large version fluffy plush version of those – and owners still proud of them.
Though these are talking creatures, just as the slinky animals, their voices are more cartoon-y. The average frequency (pitch) have been increased – most likely by using a higher play back rate than recording rate, not by letting the singers inhale helium.
Today little creatures cannot be found in the microstructure of the laundry anymore. Instead, we see ads of tiny monsters living in toilets on TV, especially under the brim. These monsters seem to have been created from material found in Pixar Studios’ dustbin.
Similar creatures do live in Australian toilets:
What can we learn from this intergalactical and intertemporal comparison?
Did the economic crisis kill the cute, fluffy pre-oil-crisis Fabric Charmers and replace them by Mutant Toilet Germs?