As a youngster I looked forward to Saturday mornings. I would wake up excited to view the adventures of Bugs, Mask, and the Dungeons and Dragons gang. Adding to my adolescent delight was the wonderment of the Hamm's Beer bear.
After the cartoons ran there usually was some sort of sporting event that was telecast. Back in those days it was usually boxing. Dad would then enter the living room and we would sit and watch two people beat the hell out of each other.
The commercials for the Saturday morning cartoons were your standard fare of sugar cereals, toys, and the Kool Aid guy busting through a wall screaming "Oh yeah" for no apparent reason. Once the cartoons ended the commercials then switched immediately to car and beer advertisements.
The Hamm's Beer commercial was my favorite commercial ever. It consisted of this catchy jingle which had an Indian beat stolen straight from bad 50s western and contained the following lyrics:
From the land of sky blue waters,
From the land of pines, lofty balsam,
Comes the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing,
Not only was the song cool, but the animation that coincided was truly amazing to a seven year old. While the jingle played a cartoon bear would do all sorts of daredevil activities including skydiving, waterskying, and hang gliding. After the bear was done he would grab a can of Hamm's beer while a load of woodland creatures would gather around him and gaze upon the awesome presence that was the adrenaline junkie.
I marveled at it. The commercial played for years and on school field trips the kids would sing it.
Left row: From the land of sky blue waters.
Right row: Waters.
Left row: From the land of pines, lofty balsam. Comes the beer refreshing.
Both rows: Hamm's the beer refreshing. Hamm's.
The teachers would join in the revelry and joy was had by all who paid homage to the beer that fueled the exploits of our panda colored Evel Knievel bear.
Years later when I was a teenager I got my first opportunity to purchase and drink beer without my parents' supervision. The guy who was purchasing for us took down orders. When he came to me my first thought was to order Hamm's.
Now I've had beer before. Usually my folks would pour me a little bit of their beer and I got to have a taste. They never drank Hamm's preferring the darker beers. You would never catch them drinking stuff like Miller, Old Milwaukee, Coors, etc.
When the guy came back with the beer I was ecstatic. I held the can of beer and noted the cartoon bear on the label. It was my time to finally crack one open and toast all the entertainment that the Hamm's brewery has brought to children everywhere. I lifted the can to my lips and was good and ready to pay homage to my favorite bear.
It was quite possibly the foulest thing I ever tasted. It was the most watered down nasty beer that most of my Bud Light drinking friends wouldn't even touch. I gulped down the concoction in disbelief wondering how anyone in their right mind would ever drink this stuff on a regular basis. After that first gulp I stood in anger over the product that I imagined to be the nectar of the gods which turned out to be swamp water. My bear lied to me. I was pissed.
"Who does not love beer, wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long." - Carl Worner
This page has a MIDI file of the jingle.