The Unintentionally Funny….
It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines… (sorry)
Obviously through the course of popular / rock music history there have been many many songs written. The subjects range from just about everything, and the emotions they try to convey also are hugely diverse.
Some are meant to be sad. Others happy. Some are even meant to be funny. (See Weird Al Yankovic…I said “meant”)
Some obviously are not. Some are and did not mean to be….
This is a list of “those” songs. Unintentional funny songs.
“Honey (I Miss You)”
This 1968 massive hit by Bobby Goldsboro was written by producer Bobby Russell. It’s supposed to pull at your heart not with strings but with thick rope. And on the surface, it kind of does. But if you really listen to the lyrics, the singer was actually quite mean to his Honey, saying she was “kinda dumb and kinda smart”. Then (my favorite) she “Came runnin’ in all excited, Slipped and almost hurt herself, And I laughed till I cried.” What? He’s laughing his ass off because she might have sustained a head injury? Guess it wouldn’t matter, since she was so “dumb”. He’s also obliviousness to her emotional state “…caught her crying needlessly”; and culminating in her possible suicide “One day while I was not at home, While she was there and all alone, The angels came”.
If I were Honey I might do myself in as well, living with this heartless guy.
After two monster albums (or should I say 8-track tapes…since that was almost the exclusive format they sold in) it took Boston six years to release their next record. SIX YEARS. You would think they were busy crafting, re-crafting, and working diligently to come up with songs that would be even better than the huge sellers that came before. Then the single came out. Amanda:
“I’m gonna take you by surprise
And make you realize, Amanda
I’m gonna tell you right away,
I can’t wait another day, Amanda
I’m gonna say it like a man
And make you understand, Amanda”
It sounded like Boston. That was good. But how obvious was it that they used a freaking rhyming dictionary while “crafting” this new single. Every cliché rhyme after another!
“I’m running out of rhymes
I’ll poke you in the eyes, Amanda!”
“(You’re) Having my baby”
This one was Paul Anka’a first hit number one hit in 15 years, since 1959’s “Lonely Boy”. It’s hilarity is pretty apparent.
First of all, it’s obviously only his baby. It’s not titled “Having OUR baby”.
But then again, what a lovely way of showing how much she loves him…..
Feminist had to have loved this one.
Written by one of the all time great songwriters, Jimmy Webb and recorded by much more actor than singer Richard Harris, this song is so stupid that you HAD to think they were joking:
“Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it ’cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again… Oh, no!”
It wasn’t a joke. It won a damn Grammy Award. Then Donna Summer had a disco hit with it.
“Oh, No!” is right.
“We Built this City”
Starship. Not only a bad song, it’s just funny. Grace Slick is even embarrassed about it.
And Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics! (More about him later)
“Knee deep in the hoopla”. I can’t say anymore. I’m laughing too hard.
“Sunglasses at night”
“And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can, so I can, Forget my name while you collect your claim
And I wear my sunglasses at night, So I can, so I can
See the light that’s right before my eyes”
And he bumps into crap a lot too.
Maybe this one WAS a joke. I hope this one was a joke….
“I am I said”
Okay. I like Neil Diamond. I really do, especially his early work, and I’m down for some of his cheesier latter stuff too.
This song is actually great. Supposedly it took him four months to write. It’s a guy caught in between two worlds:
L.A.’s fine but it ain’t home
New York’s home but it ain’t mine no more.”
Up until the chorus.
“I am, I said, To no one there
And no one heard at all, Not even the chair…”
Why would he think the chair COULD hear him?
And why is he talking to a chair?
No wonder he was kicked out of New York. He’s crazy even for that town.
Paul McCartney often gets the wrong reputation as being a mediocre lyricist. Lennon was the word guy, McCartney the melody guy.
Not true. “Eleanor Rigby”, “Hey Jude”, “For No One”, and countless others prove this completely wrong.
But about six months before being busted in a Japanese airport with almost EIGHT OUNCES of pot for personal use (like he was gonna share it) he released his album McCartney 2. He was definitely smoking in the ounces.
The second single was called “Waterfalls”. The thing that almost makes this more frustrating than funny is that it is one of the guy’s best melodies he penned post Beatles. And the guy could write some melodies. Lyrically though….well, here is the second verse:
“Don’t Go Chasing Polar Bears
In The Great Unknown
Some Big Friendly Polar Bear
Might Want To Take You Home”
What? I mean the term “jumping waterfalls” in the first verse is an old metaphor for keeping safe. But chasing Polar Bears? Really?
Then on to the third verse:
“Don’t Run After Motor Cars
Please Stay On The Side
Someone’s Glossy Motor Car
Might Take You For A Ride”
What, Is she a dog? Or just as dumb as one?
Yep. Pot makes you lazy.
“Someone Saved My Life Tonight”
Elton John’s poignant song about his attempted suicide.
And Bernie Taupin is a talented lyricist (besides the aforementioned “We Built This City). Even when his lyrics are vague, or seem to not make literal sense (Take Me to The Pilot, Burn Down The Mission) they just sound good together and evoke great imagery. But one little phrase just absolutely breaks me up in this 1975 hit:
“And Someone saved my life tonight. Sugar Bear”
“Sugar Bear”? The one from Super Sugar Crisp Cereal? He saved your life?
Sugar Bear was pretty cool. Had a real Dean Martin thing going for him, but….HE’S A CARTOON.
“Any Thing by the group America written by Dewey Bunnell”
Self explanatory really….
From “Horse with No Name”:
“The heat was hot” No kidding? Really? I wonder if his ice was cold?
“There were plants, and birds, and rocks, and things” I could barely type that I was laughing so hard.
And of course: “’Cause there ain’t no-one for to give you no pain” The last line of the chorus. Appropriately so…
From “Ventura Highway”:
“Cause the free wind is blowin’ through your hair
and the day surround your daylight there
Seasons cryin’ no despair
Alligator lizards in the air”
See… I wouldn’t have gotten it until the alligator lizards part. Now I….wait, no I don’t.
And from “Tin Man”
“But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man That he didn’t, didn’t already have
And Cause never was the reason for the evening Or the tropic of Sir Galahad.
So please believe in me When I say I’m spinning round, round, round, round Smoke glass stain bright color Image going down, down, down, down Soapsuds green like bubbles”
I get this mental image of the village idiot spinning around and around dressed like a tin man. That’s just funny stuff…
Well that’s all I got for now. But there are more. Many more.
Have any unintentional funny songs that come to your mind?
And by the way, what the hell kind of attitude is “Jimmy Crack Corn, and I don’t care”? And if no one cares why is there a song about it?