Hello there! Lyn is taking a break this week and asked us to fill in for her. My name is Bunny and my partner in crime is Brian. We’re volunteers at BayFM. I’m head of the Blonde Joke Division and Chairperson of the Funny Hat Task Force and Brian is Vice-President of Political Humour and Small Farm Animals.
We were very excited when Lyn asked us to actually present a show this week! So after fastening our seat belts, we made sure to keep our arms and legs inside the BayFM vehicle and we were off with a show on FUNNY SONGS.
What better way to open the show than with the kings of comedy, Monty Python, and THE LUMBERJACK SONG.
We know that one person’s idea of comedy heaven is another’s version of musical hell but we did our best to make up a playlist that Lyn would be proud of. We reckon that there was a bit of something for everyone in it. Lots of songs had to be omitted because they were a little too naughty for the timeslot. One that made us chuckle, and was clean as a whistle to boot, came from The Offspring. They have a go at the “wannabe gangsta” or “wangsta”, as they call it, who’s wrapped up in hip-hop culture – not because he truly loves or understands it, but because it’s trendy. Here’s PRETTY FLY FOR A WHITE GUY:
If you are looking for something just a little risque, then you may like Mighty Sparrow’s FRAID PUSSY BITE ME. It’s witty and ironic and just a little bit bad.
For straight out satire, together with a great jazz band, look to The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. On BIG SHOT they parody Raymond Chandler: “She had the hottest lips since Hiroshima”. It has to be one of the best lines ever. Equally briliant are the hilarious New Zealand duo, Flight of the Conchords. They gave us some folk’n’b jamming on BUSINESS TIME. Lyn’s posted this video before, so we won’t do that again.
Something a little more subtle, with a great Latin style song, to boot, is the clever and cruizy Kirsty McColl with IN THESE SHOES? That one was dedicated to Victoria. Byron Bay has a lot of SENSITIVE ARTISTS living up here, so King Missile had a perfect song for them. Just in case some of those artists are taking themselves too seriously (really?) then this song may just put life into perspective for them.
If you’re a Facebook addict, you might want to also take a listen to ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME, from Kate Miller Heidke. Now we went to great expense to bleep out all the swear words on this one. That’s how dedicated we were to bringing you our favourite FUNNY SONGS. Ok, the truth is that Lyn had already done this for another show, but it was well worth repeating.
Gotta love Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) with their ‘mock rock’ music. Check out TRIBUTE:
The brilliant Rodney Dangerfield told us how he never gets a break on RAPPIN RODNEY: “I Don’t Get No Respect!” He died in 2004 and his headstone reads simply, “Rodney Dangerfield…. there goes the neighbourhood.”
Lemonhead Evan Dando reveals a flair for comedy on THE OUTDOOR TYPE and we followed with a very silly song by a band with a very silly name: EVERYBODY WALK THE DINOSAUR from Was, (Not Was).
Here’s Fats Waller who’s out to prove that he’s an incredibly rude date on YOUR FEETS TOO BIG. Recorded in the late 1930’s, here’s some rare footage – we think from 1942:
Brian is a huge TISM fan. The name is an acronym of This Is Serious Mum. They’re known for their hilarious lyrics and Brian was out to prove that they work as poetry, not just as song fodder. A great example is their song LEO’S TOLTOY. Check out the lyrics here. It’s off the album, Hot Dogma, released in 1990. Unfortunaely no video clips of them performing this particular track so here’s an interview they did when they were promoting another of their albums, The White Albun.
I’m sure that it wasn’t in reponse to Brian’s poetry reading, but Screamin Jay Hawkins sang CONSTIPATION BLUES. “Yeah let it go, let it go, let it go.” It was probably the closest we got to toilet humour, because we’re way too sophisticated for that, we assure you.
So a couple of tunes that we reckon are of a more refined nature are, firstly, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s KARMA SUTRA and then the brilliant Tim Minchin with INFLATABLE YOU. Here he is performing at a benefit at the Royal Albert Hall in London:
Regular contributor Charlotte requested a beauty: The Bedroom Philosopher with NORTHCOTE, otherwise known as SO HUNGOVER. Thanks Charlie!
Flight of the Conchords deserved at least two songs in the list (we would have done a whole show of their songs!). Crazy funny is HIPHOPAPOTAMUS V RHYMENOCEROUS, which has a go at all the rappin’ and rhymin’ out there.
Comedy icon Peter Sellers does various versions of classic rock songs. One of the most bizarre is UNCHAINED MELODY. That was followed by another great suggestion from Charlotte, The Grand Spectacular with the latest i-Tube sensation, BEING A DICKHEAD’S COOL. Yeah “we’re having new age fun with a vintage feel.” Brilliant.
We owed it to everyone to finish up with a joke. And because I am BayFM’s Head of the Blonde Joke Division, here’s mine: How do you keep a blonde busy for hours? Write “Please turn over” on both sides of a piece of paper. Boom Boom.
Time for two last songs before we had to vacate the studio: First up, Monty Python’s ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE and then it was one for Hudson who hosts Postmodern Backlash on BayFM: another track from Melbourne band The Bedroom Philosopher: I’M SO POST MODERN.
Lyn wants you to know that next week’s show will feature a songlist about CALIFORNIA so, if you want to request a particular song, leave her a message right here on the blog. Thanks!
Here’s this week’s complete playlist:
Lumberjack song – Monty Python
Pretty Fly for a White Guy – Americana, The Offspring
I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio – The Final Rip Off, Monty Python
Fraid Pussy Bite Me – Renaissance, Mighty Sparrow
Big Shot – Cornology [Disc 1], Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Business Time – Flight of the Conchords
In These Shoes? – Tropical Brainstorm, Kirsty McColl
Sensitive Artist – Fluting on the Hump, King Missile
Are You F_cking Kidding Me (radio edit) – Live At the Hi-Fi, Kate Miller-Heidke
Tribute – Tenacious D, Tenacious D
Peter Sellers sings George Gershin – EMI Comedy Classics, Peter Sellers
Rappin’ Rodney – Rodney Dangerﬁeld
The Outdoor Type – The Tao of Steve Soundtrack, The Lemonheads
Everybody Walk the Dinosaur – What Up, Dog?, Was (Not Was)
Your Feet’s Too Big – The Late ’30s, Fats Waller
Constipation Blues –Live at the Olympia, Paris 1998, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Kama Sutra – Cornology [Disc 1], Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Inﬂatable You – Darkside, Tim Minchin
Northcote (So Hungover) – Songs from the 86 Tram, The Bedroom Philosopher
Daffy’s Rhapsody – Mel Blanc
Kyle’s Mom’s a B**ch – South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, South park
Hiphopapotamus v Rhymenocerous – HBO One Night Stand, Flight of The Conchords
Unchained Melody – EMI Comedy Classics, Peter Sellers
Being A D******d’s Cool – The Grand Spectacular
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life –The Life of Brian, Monty Python
I’m So Post Modern – The Bedroom Philosopher
One of the many gifts of living here in the Northern Rivers is the abundance of bird life. I am lucky enough to live on a property with a rainforest remnant plus tropical and native gardens, so there is no shortage of beautiful birdlife for me to enjoy. And while they are lucky enough to be wild and free, I do feel that they are my little buddies. When it comes to music, bird references are to be found in every genre, so I had plenty to choose from in this week’s show about BIRDS. Some of the songs I chose were just plain silly and some very serious. But what they all revealed was a little bit about how we relate avian qualities to our lives and ourselves.
We started the show with the incredibly appropriate I LIKE BIRDS from the Eels’ album Daisies of the Galaxy. And why wouldn’t you like a creature that has come to represent peace, freedom and happiness to name just a few of the more positive traits that appear in this week’s play-list?
History, however, hasn’t been too kind to blackbirds. They are often portrayed negatively, even though they are just as good looking and intelligent as other species. Paul McCartney spins this symbolism into a message of hope in the Beatles 1968 hit BLACKBIRD. We followed with The Be Good Tanyas and their version of Clarence Ashley’s THE COO COO BIRD. I’ve discovered that the Coo-Coo bird, unlike most other birds, rarely occur in pairs or as part of a group. Shy and retiring, they’d rather be heard than seen. Hmmm. Sounds a bit like a couple of radio presenters I know…
A nice triple play followed: Bob Marley with the very optimistic THREE LITTLE BIRDS, LITTLE WING from Jimi Hendrix and then the Purple one, Prince, pumped it out with WHEN DOVES CRY.
Alfred Hitchcock was one of the quirkiest directors ever. His 1963 film THE BIRDS, starring Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedron was notable for its lack of music. Except for a couple of songs sung by characters in the film, the soundscape was made up of screeching birds. The trailer for the film was just as idiosyncratic. Hitchcock presents it himself, under the guise of A LECTURE ON BIRDS. I think its hilarious. Take a look:
The Bluebird is a common symbol of happiness and optimism. Two songs we played, that epitomise this notion, are Johnnie Taylor’s LITTLE BLUEBIRD and Ella Fitzgerald, the queen of scat, singing BLUE SKIES.
John Lennon sings of the Sweet Bird of Paradox in SURPRISE, SURPRISE from his 1974 album Walls and Bridges. We followed that with KT Tunstall’s WHITE BIRD. An excellent artist who, despite the awards and peer support cruises under the radar somewhat. Take a look at this clip and become a fan:
Ready for some classical? No, its not Swan Lake. It’s my favourite Duck, DAFFY, with his version of THE HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY:
One of my favourite Australian singers is Jack Ladder. From the Love is Gone album, MOTHER, is a strange little song that likens his Mum to a chicken (I think…). The song also references BIRDS THE WORD and we took a listen to the RIVINGTONS original version of that tune too.
Taj Mahal and Etta James sang a great version of MOCKINGBIRD, originally recorded by Inez and Charlie Foxx and one of the last hits for Australian icon Johnny O’Keefe (with Margaret McLaren).
How could we have a show about BIRDS and not include Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker. His nickname was originally ‘Yardbird’ and that was shortenend over time to simply ‘Bird’. There are two stories as to how he got the name: One was that he lived “free as a bird”. The other is that when touring with Jay McShann, they accidentally hit a chicken (a yardbird) with their car and Parker made them stop to pick it up so he could have his landlady cook it. I think I’m going to go with the first possibility. It fits beautifully with the track we played – BLUEBIRD.
I had to include the theme from the Woody Woodpecker Show. Mel Blanc was the original voice of this animated character. He also voiced Daffy Duck and many, many more of our favourite cartoon characters. Woody made his first appearance in a short film in 1940 and you’ll still find him on children’s cartoon shows today.
And how good is AIN’T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS by Louis Jordan? James Brown has been quoted as saying that Jordan was one of his greatest influences: “He could sing, he could dance, he could play, he could act. He could do it all.” Jordan’s vocal style was arguably an important precursor to rap. On our show for DAYS OF THE WEEK we played “Saturday Night Fish Fry” (1950) which featured a rapid-fire, highly syncopated semi-spoken vocal delivery that is strongly reminiscent of the modern rap style.
No reason to leave the farmyard when you can play the Rolling Stones and LITTLE RED ROOSTER. Check out this clip featuring a very young, fresh faced Mick Jagger in 1965.
There are lots if songs about birds that talk of love and longing. Three that I particulary like are BLUEBIRDS OVER THE MOUNTAIN from Richie Valens, (also recorded by The Beach Boys), YELLOW BIRD from Chris Isaak and SONGBIRD by Bernard Fanning.
Time flew on this week’s show but before I flew the coop (groan…), I had time to play a rediscovery: A great songwriter and singer, still performing and probably better now than ever – Russell Morris with his 1972 hit THE WINGS OF AN EAGLE. Take a look at this recent clip and see if you agree. This song has a timeless quality.
Couldn’t resist closing the show with a piece of whimsy suggested by one of my loyal listeners: CHIRPY CHIRPY CHEEP CHEEP from the perfectly named band MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. This clip from Top of the Pops 1971 is worth including just for the outfits. I want those boots! And did I hear “bring back hot pants!”
Here’s the complete playlist:
I Like Birds – The Eels
Blackbird – The Beatles
The Coo Coo Bird – The Be Good Tanyas
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix
When Doves Cry – Prince & the Revolution
Bye Bye Blackbird – Etta James
Alfred Hitchcock ‘The Birds’ Lecture (Trailer)
Rocking Robin – Bobby Day
Chicken Payback – The Bees
The Chicken And The Hawk – Big Joe Turner
Little Bluebird – Johnnie Taylor
Blue Skies – Ella Fitzgerald
Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) – John Lennon
White Bird – KT Tunstall
Daffy’s Rhapsody – Mel Blanc
Bird Dog – The Everly Brothers
Shake A Tail Feather – Ray Charles
Mother (Bird’s The Word) – Jack Ladder
Mockingbird – Taj Mahal & Etta James
Bluebird – Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker + The All-Stars
Night Owl – Carly Simon
Mockingbird – Rob Thomas
Woody Woodpecker Show – TV Themes
The Bird’s The Word – Rivingtons
Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens – Louis Jordan
Little Red Rooster – Rolling Stones
Blackbird – The Beautiful Girls
Bluebirds over the Mountain – Ritchie Valens
Yellow Bird – Chris Isaak
Songbird – Bernard Fanning
The Wings Of An Eagle – Russell Morris
Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep Middle of the Road
Next week: SPORT! I promise there will be no footie anthems. Help! Whaddyagot?
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.
Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org
Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn
and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/themeparkradio