By Keith Staskiewicz
April 01, 2011 at 08:35 PM EDT

It’s not every day that we lose a legend. The New Republic is reporting the unfortunate death of Nick Hathaway (né Jameson Babcock) at age 96.

Hathaway is best known for penning songs like “If You’re Running Away from Me, I’m Behind You All the Way,” “The War Between the States of Mind,” and, of course, his oft-covered ditty “Ooka Dooka Dicka Dee.”

While he may not be as well-known as some of his contemporaries, Hathaway still helped to influence a whole generation of musicians. Here is a clip of singer-songwriter Jill Sobule and John Doe, of the seminal punk band X, doing a short tribute version of his iconic Tin Pan Alley tune:

Are you saddened to hear of Hathaway’s passing? Would you be slightly less sad to know that—this being the day before April 2—he never actually existed?