Friday, June 15, 2007

Who Wrote That?

Sorry folks, I'm cheating again and reposting. I hope you enjoy this one because I had fun putting it together. When I finally realize that someone in atrial fibrillation should not go walking in 100 degree weather, I'll be able to do an original post...

At work today, I had to turn my radio down. That’s nothing unusual as I am frequently asked by a coworker to turn it down. This time, however, I turned it down on my own as I was overcome with embarrassment at the music coming out of the oldies radio station I was listening to. I know that working up ‘worst song ever’ lists is nothing new, but it got me thinking about some of my least favorite oldies tunes. So, without further delay, here are the oldies I hate. Keep in mind this is my list so if you take exception to any of the songs I’ve listed (although I doubt you will), I apologize, if I have to, I guess…whatever. They are:

Puff the Magic Dragon (Peter, Paul and Mary) - I used to confuse this dragon with Elliot, who was Pete’s Dragon. Then I remembered the easy way to tell them apart: Elliot wasn’t stoned!

Hang On Sloopy (The McCoys) – This was actually a number one hit – in our country! Wikipedia says it’s the official rock song of Ohio (All I can find for California is “I Love You California,” go figure). If you’re nickname is Sloopy, then you deserve to live on the very bad part of town with everybody trying to bring you down.

Down in the Boondocks (Billy Joe Royal) – The chorus is catchy, but not catchy enough. It’s just a fancy way of saying the sticks and didn’t John Denver take care of that with “Thank God I’m A Country Boy?”

Incense and Peppermint (The Strawberry Alarm Clock) – Have you ever seen a strawberry alarm clock? I mean when awake and sober? That should have been our first hint. Tell me again why this song isn’t a Christmas tune…

Alone Again Naturally (Gilbert O’Sullivan) – Ahh, the anthem of suicidal manic-depressives the world over. WARNING: If you are not in a good place mentally, skip this ditty. Actual lyrics: ‘I promise myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower and climbing to the top will throw myself off…’ I’m guessing that if you consider jumping off a tall structure a treat (like maybe the rest of us consider ice cream to be a treat), you will naturally find yourself alone, again. I’m not sure who wrote this song but chances are after it was released they were put on an extended psychiatric watch.

I Started a Joke (The Bee Gees) – I remember starting a joke a few years back. It revolved around the lyrics to ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and the death of one of the Gibb twins. Oh but I didn’t see that the joke was on me.

Quinn the Eskimo (Manfred Mann) – Really all I can say is that I don’t think the world was (or ever will be) ready for a Pop Eskimo ballad. This one is better buried out back behind the igloo to rest in peace. That reminds me, I’m craving some Baked Alaska…

In the Summertime (Mungo Jerry) – Mungo, seriously? This may have been the debut of that making sounds in your fists Beat Box thing. No matter what, it’s possibly the worst summertime song ever, unless you consider that Itsy Bitsy Bikini song a summertime tune. On the other hand, it does feature a nice motor boat engine revving in the background and way too few pop tunes have that element.

If I Had a Hammer (Triny Lopez) – Yes, it’s quite catchy, so catchy that I find myself singing it at times. Is the updated version “If I Had a Semi-Automatic?” I’d shoot it in the morning…Did I mention how catchy it is? Really, I’m singing it now. It sounds like this one should be in my ‘like’ category, but I do turn it down when it gets radio airplay. I mean when there are others around me.

Space Oddity (David Bowie) – Hey, ground control and Major Tom, I still haven’t figured this one out! To quote David Spade, I liked this one better when it was called…Rocket Man. You can only assume that Bing Crosby had never heard this before he sang Drummer Boy with Bowie.

Of all of these ‘songs’ though, without a shadow of a doubt, the one that fills me with the most vile hatred is…

In the Year 2525 (Zager and Evans) - Folks, this too was a number one hit! I don’t even know where to begin. As a child, this song scared the Playdough out of me. Well, that year isn’t too far off now and it looks like man will still be alive and woman can indeed survive.

There are a couple of songs that I used to make fun of, but fortunately I matured just enough to fully appreciate them for the classic gems that they are. Those songs are:

Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight) – I dare you to listen to that song and not pretend to pull the horn during the chorus’ “woo hoos.” I guess you would call that playing the air train whistle.

You’re So Vain (Carly Simon) – Perhaps one of the best songs ever recorded. To this day, I cannot watch someone sneak a peak in the mirror as they pass by one without singing the chorus to them. Mick Jagger sings backup and the longtime rumor is that it’s about either him or Warren Beatty. Which is it Carly? Some of us need to know!

Brandy (The Looking Glass) – As a young stupid kid, I could never understand why they were singing about a glass of Brandy and referring to it as a girl, much less a fine one. Then I got older and realized I had been mistaken. After The Looking Glasses’ description, what a good wife she would be!

I am sure there will be more songs that occur to me or that you may point out. Because of their supreme status, I left out Octopuses Garden by The Beatles, several songs by The Doors and “Love Child” by The Supremes (how many other rock and roll songs can you think of that feature the phrase “tenement slum?”). Perhaps I’ll update this list again some day. Does anyone remember Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-A-Ling?” Boy did we think we were being naughty in school while singing that one!

13 comments:

brandy said...

MC, it pains me that you put that last song on there. It really, really does. And I love "In the Summertime". It makes me feel all tingly (the good tingly, not the bad tingly, like how I feel after I drop a hammer on my foot for the third time in less than 24 hours)

Patti said...

I always thought that it was "Incense and Peppermints" plural, but I could be wrong. I was wrong once, my husband tells me.

Seriously, these songs all have that je ne sais quoi that makes them classics.
Thanks for the memories, Michael.

Trundling Grunt said...

Nope, sorry. I wouldn't have asked you to turn that down, I'd have got you fired for creating a hostile work environment. Much simpler.

Michael C said...

Brandy: I'm sorry, please forgive me. I'll stop liking it and write a new 'Brandy' song. I promise!! ;-)

Patti: Do you mean like In Cents and Peppermints? I like that better!

Trundling: Thanks for the support ;-)

Heart Of Darkness said...

Cheater!!! :0



Actually, a nice read... and recycling is very in fashion right now! ;)

R2K said...

Homer.

Michael C said...

Heart: Dang, you caught me cheating.
I cheat, I mean recycle, on Sundays too. Thanks for reading my recycling though.

It's not often I'm in fashion. Like hardly ever. ;-)

R2K: Ya got me!

KAIZER SCOTT said...

IF YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT FUNKY LYRICS HOW ABOUT "TO ALL THE GIRLS IVE LOVED BEFORE " I CAN BELIEVE IT WHEN MR INGLESIS SINGS IT BUT WILLIE NELSON THAT A BIT HARD TO BUY ....NOW THAT WHITE RABBITT SONG BY JEFFERSON AIRPLANE NOW THERE IS A CLASSIC WILLIES SONG JUST HER WAILING GIVES ME THE GOOSEBUMPS I RECKON THATS THE SONG THEY PLAY IN HELL SOME RATHER SPOOKY STUFF

Ralph said...

Michael, I've got to agree with your list of stinkeroos, although I liked 'Brandy' in 1972. You might have missed a few others:
1) Bang Bang by Cher: "Bang bang, I shot him down, Bang bang, he hit the ground..." Cole Porter or Irving Berlin couldn't have written lyrics like these...
2) Honey, Bobby Goldsboro...How insipid! Honey must have been glad that the angels took her away.
3)Billy Don't Be a Hero...yuck

There are more, but it's close to dinner time as I write, and I want to keep my appetiti

Heart Of Darkness said...

I love Carly Simon's "Your'e so vain"! I just need to get my paws on a copy of it... :D

Michael C said...

Heart: WE can fix that...

kat said...

These song titles alone are wack. I'm so glad I am unfamiliar with most of them because I'm sure if the titles suck it doesn't bode well for the actual lyrics. And song.

If I Had A Hammer is a shitty song. I do like Puff The Magic Dragon - but only because of Meet The Fockers.

Not familiar with most of the others. Luckily.

Michael C said...

Kat: Why do I sometimes find myself humming If I Had A Hammer? It scares me...