Sunday, October 16, 2011

They're coming to take him away

By Al Tays

A novelty himself,
Sunday contributor Al
Tays knows a little bit
about whacky songs.
Six million record buyers were responsible for Rick Dees' "Disco Duck" going to the top of the Billboard singles chart on this date in 1976.

I am proud to say I was not one of them.

It's not that I have anything against novelty songs -- I think that's the most interesting music genre.

But "Disco Duck" just ... sucked.

You wanna talk good novelty songs? The problem is not so much where to begin, but where to stop.

I mean, "Weird Al" Yankovic should have his own sub-category. "Lose Yourself," "E-Bay" and "The Hardware Store" are classics, and "Genius in France" is to novelty songs what "Stairway to Heaven" is to classic rock.

As a kid, I remember listening to "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor," "They're Coming to Take Me Away," and "The Jolly Green Giant." That last one is still on my iPod.

In adulthood, I discovered other gems such as "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago," "Valley Girl" and, of course, "Fish Heads."

In researching this subject, I came across a song I've never heard, but which might have the best title of all time:

"I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)"

Now THAT'S songwriting.

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