Novelty Music

Novelty songs are often seen as the easiest and – therefore – lowest form of humour (along with puns). But done well, the songs can be brought up to great levels of memorable wackiness, to be giggled at again and again on your mp3-player. I was already a fan of some of Monty Python‘s classics (like ‘I’m a lumberjack (and I’m okay)‘) and to a bigger extent of the works of Tom Lehrer. He is lesser known in Europe; a Jewish lapsed teacher, turned brainiac comedy performer. His career in music was brief, but his music – often fairly dark and cynical – lives on, and though some are dated because they deal with politics of his prime (late fifties, early sixties) others like ‘Poisoning pigeons in the park’ and the table of elements ‘set to a possibly recognisable tune’ still live on in our hearts and on my harddrive. He can be seen and heard on YouTube.

Recently I ran into two current musical comedy performers I wanted to share. Both I heard in a Comedy Central special. Their speciality is songs that are subversive and rude. Rich Hall (as his Otis Lee Crenshaw persona) has songs about subjects like making love to a bag lady and the hilarious anti-chivalry anthem: ‘Do what you want to the girl, just don’t hurt me’. Stephen Lynch has sensitive songs about boozing whoring, dating hermaphrodites and turning gay after a drink or two.¬†Have a look at any or all of these guys. They will make you smile and might just make you titter like a little girl. But I might be projecting.

If you don’t mind all this x-rated humor, also listen to: Pussy Tourette’s ‘I think he’s gay’ and The Wet Spots ‘Do you take it’. For less crudeness listen to Dr. Demento’s collections and maybe “Weird” Al Yankovic if really desperate.

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