A Unique Look
Recently, we listed 10 of our favorite novelty songs, and it immediately became apparent that 10 songs are not enough! There are just too many good ones out there, and so here are 10 more of our favorites. As always, feel free to mention any we may have forgotten or not yet gotten to.
Story side B…
10. “My Ding-a-Ling,” Chuck Berry, 1972.
A #1 hit for Chuck, his only song to reach that position, this slightly risqué song teases you with sexual innuendo. More importantly, however, this song provides the basis for a knock-off version I personally made up called “My Yuengling,” obviously about my favorite beer. (No, “my” song is not available for sale or downloading!)
9. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” Brian Hyland, 1960.
Another of the many novelty songs to top the charts, Hyland sings about a bashful girl who is “afraid to come out of the water” in her bikini. (Brian Hyland has to be one of the least recognized great rock and rollers in history, at least by the hoi polloi.)
8. “She Can’t Find Her Keys,” Paul Petersen, 1962.
This is a song about a young man waiting in vain for his goodnight kiss from his date who is emptying her purse of an incredible (and funny) array of objects while attempting to find her keys. Petersen’s biggest hit was “My Dad,” a great song but not a novelty. In the 1950s, he had starred with Shelley Fabares on the Donna Reed Show. Fabares also had a hit song in 1962 with “Johnny Angel.”
7. “Pink Shoe Laces,” Dodie Stevens, 1959.
In this song, Dodie Stevens sings about her boyfriend, Dooley, whose odd taste in fashion gets him in trouble with the Army when he is drafted. Dooley even ends up requesting to be buried in his “tan shoes with pink shoe laces…. And a big Panama with a purple hat band.” Incredibly, Stevens (not her real name) was only 13 when she recorded this song.
6. “Beep Beep,” The Playmates, 1958.
Sung about a race between a “little Nash Rambler” and a Cadillac, this is a cute little song that went to #3 on the charts and sold over a million copies. Because of goofy British laws, the song had to be modified for play in the UK by deleting the brand names of the cars and replacing them with “limousine” and “bubble car.”
5. “Dinah-Moe Humm,” Frank Zappa, 1973.
If you are into “different,” this is it. A song about making a woman “come” (sic…) on a bet, it is not for prudes or young children. For open-minded adults, though, it is pretty funny. As a child, Zappa’s sinus problems were treated by having radium pellets inserted up his nose. Perhaps that is where he got his oddball ideas from! Not surprisingly, and perhaps as a result, he died of cancer (prostate) at age 52.
4. “The Streak,” Ray Stevens, 1974.
Capitalizing on the fad of running around naked known as “streaking,” Stevens put his novelty-song talent to good use and took this song to #1 on the charts. Look out, Ethel! Honorable Mention to “Gitarzan.”
3. “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, Rolf Harris, 1960.
Reaching #1 in Australia in 1960, this song was released in the U.S. in 1963 and made it all the way to #3 there. Distinctly Australian in sound and tone, it is about an “Old Australian stockman” who is dying and leaves his last wishes. After “Waltzing Matilda,” it is this song that is most closely associated with the land Down Under.
2. “Lunchlady Land,” Adam Sandler, 1993.
This tune about the trials and tribulations of the venerable “Lunch Lady” (who ends up married to “Sloppy Joe“) appeared on Sandler’s 1993 comedy album They’re All Gonna Laugh at You as well as on the late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. Done in a sort of quasi Bruce Springsteen sort of way, we feel this is Sandler at his best, although we must give honorable mention to the his“Chanukah Songs.”
1. “Wet Dream,” Kip Addotta, 1984.
This is an absolutely hysterical spoken song that uses multiple aquatic references as double entendres. Since “Kip” is actually the comedian’s birth name, it seems his comedic streak was preordained. He truly is a funny guy.