Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sounds funny to me...

The other day I was thinking about humorous songs. I googled the question, but didn’t come up with any satisfactory answers - mostly I discovered that other people don't share my sophisticated tastes. One list featured the top 50 humorous songs of all time, unfortunately, 48 of them were by Weird Al Yankovic. Weird Al is funny enough, but he needs to be taken in manageable doses.

Using a strict scientific methodology, I came up with a list. My criteria are 1) no parody, and 2) deep philosophical content.

Bruces’ Philosophers SongMonty Python. My all-time favorite.

Istanbul (not Constantinople) – The Four Lads (1953), They Might Be Giants (1990). This song explores the historical name of the city known as Byzantium, Constantinople, and more recently, Istanbul.

Charlie on the MTA. Kingston Trio (1959). A 1948 campaign song for Boston mayoral candidate Walter A. O'Brien of the progressive party. Based on the tune of "Wreck of the old 97", it decries subway rate increases.

Eric the Half-a-Bee – Monty Python. Another profound exploration of philosophical themes.
"Half a bee, philosophically,
must ipso facto half not be."
Werewolves of LondonWarren Zevon (1982). Easy to play. “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking in Soho in the rain. Looking for a place called Lee Ho Fooks, gonna get a big plate of beef chow mein” (Sounds a lot like to "Sweet Home Alabama")

© 2008 Raoul Rubin