Monday, 9 February 2009

Singy Yet Funny

I'm fond of music and I'm somewhat partial to comedy so, when the two elements combine into one glorious whole*, it tends to make me a happy chappy. I've always been fond of the comedy song for as long as I can remember - being an avid Muppet fan as a child** would probably have been one of the prime factors. So let's single out some favourites today, shall we? That was a rhetorical question, I'm going to do it anyway.

Now let's just take it as read that I pretty much love all Monty Python songs and couldn't really single out a specific one so I'll just start you off with Sit On My Face and we can carry on from there.

(I defy you to not have that in your head for the rest of the day now.)

Let's tackle this one in a slightly chronological fashion. One of the earliest comedy songs that I can remember enjoying is this little ditty brought to us from a Mr Stanley Laurel and a Mr Oliver Hardy in the deservedly classic "Way Out West".

Once again, with those two, it's all in the timing and the facial expressions. Plus kids love a silly voice so that was me hooked. Staying with the older theme, here's a song that became indelibly associated with the singer throughout many hundreds of radio and TV episodes of the game show "You Bet Your Life". It was originally performed in the film "Animal Crackers" and goes a little something like this:-

And that's exactly the sort of thing that began to cement my love for nonsensical wordplay. Another comedy hero of mine was equally as fond of cunning wordplay as he was of particularly silly noises. Take it away, Mr Milligna (the well-known typing error).

Here's someone that I've only gotten into in the last five years or so and then coincidentally discovered that my parents were fans of his (obviously, the comedy apple doesn't fall very far from the tree - on to somebody's head, probably). He's as fond of the meaning as he is of the sounds of the words themselves. His name is Jake Thackray and there are many of songs of his which I love Unfortunately, I can't find a video of my favourite, "The Castleford Ladies Magical Circle", but this is a good 'un, too:-

Back in the days before "House" and "QI", Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry used to knock about together doing a really rather splendid sketch on the old Beeb Beeb Ceeb and would occasionally throw out the odd belter of a song. I like the way that each verse builds on the previous one to lead up to the big finish and it also features some nice tortured pronunciation in order to make the words fit the rhyme scheme.

Getting closer up to date, we reach Mr Bill Bailey who I've been to see live several times and makes me laugh very much. Here, Bill demonstrates the hitherto unexplored link between cockney and classical music:-

And finally, to round things off, let's go with a bit of Flight Of The Conchords (because it would be rude not to, frankly). There are many other proponents of the comedy song that I love and could list here (Spinal Tap, Tenacious D, Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, Neil Innes, Trey Parker and Matt Stone plus many more) but I'd be here all night and you'd get all bored and wander off to more interesting blogs. I'm going to go with this track, I think - "Business Time" and "Ladies Of The World" are probably better tracks but there's a sweetness combined with a filthiness about this one that always makes me chuckle along with the over the top rhyming. Give it a go, if you're into it, that is....

* Put the double entendre back in the box. Matron.

** Not that I'm no longer a Muppet fan, of course, that's just when it all began+

+ That's the sort of phrase in TV and film that leads to to gazing into the middle distance accompanied by a wibbly wobbly transition effect to signify a flashback. Not here, though. This is a blog. That doesn't really work.#

# You just get footnotes instead.


Anna Russell said...

Mr the Fella, you have made my day with this post. Some corkers on here.

Hey, have you heard Tim Minchin? If not, youtube him, I'd think you'd be a fan.

Anna xxx

"Oh, I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok..."

TrodoMcCracken said...

I'm a lumberjack and I'm not okay!

That Baldy Fella said...

Anna The Russell - No, that's a new one on me. I shall head over to the 'Tube and search him out. Thanks for the tip!

Trodo - Have you tried the Lumberjack Counselling Services?

Rachel Tamed said...

I am laughing way too hard to comment intelligently. Nice selections, and yes, I fear it will take me some time to get them out of my head!

But I still love muppets. Just saying.

TishTash said...

Sit On My Face is truly one of the greatest love songs ever penned. I use to sing it to my Ex all the time, much to his delight. It's a wonder we didn't stay together, really.

Check out Stephen Lynch, particularly a song called "If I Were Gay."

That Baldy Fella said...

Rachel - Then my work here is done!
That's because the Muppets are brilliant. Fact.

TishTash - I may have to marry someone that kept singing that to me all the time. It's probably a law or a tradition or an old charter or something.
Stephen Lynch, you say? I shall have a listen - thanks for the tip!