It may be a Novelty Song, but it’s also a *good* song

The hallmark of most novelty songs (think “The Streak” or “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”) is that you only need to hear them a time or two before they get old. The novelty wears off quickly, you might say.

But there are exceptions. Some novelty songs actually work as music you don’t mind hearing multiple times.

I happened to hear “Eugene” by Crazy Joe and the Variable Speed Band the other day. It’s a silly song about the titular “cool dude in a loose mood” ineptly trying to pick up women. The (mostly spoken) lyrics are definitely written for laughs, but it’s also, IMO, a legitimately good song. Written and produced by KISS’s Ace Frehley, it’s got a smooth, funky groove that just makes you want to tap your feet and then some.

Then there’s the Christmas Jug Band’s “Santa Lost A Ho,” a bawdy little ditty that’s built around a single, rather weak, pun. But the Jug Band is full of guys with undeniable musical bona fides, with ties to acts like Country Joe and the Fish, Commander Cody, and even Van Morrison. And they can play.

So what other “novelty songs” can actually pass for good music?

I still listen to Allan Sherman (“Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”) and Tom Lehrer music all the time. I would say most of their work are good in that they are clever, funny, and enjoyable to listen to repeatedly.

There are plenty of Weird Al Yankovic parodies that can be listened to repeatedly as well. Not sure if you put parody and novelty in the same category.

I’d say it’s a toss-up between these two:


This one is pretty good too:

For the holidays:


Before Granada, there was Kookamunga:

Speaking of whom…

That’s him with the tambourine.

Another vote for Kung Fu Fighting. It was done with Expert Timing.

I would respectfully disagree with “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.


Karl Denver - Wimoweh.

Look no further than…Whistling Jack Smith with I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman

Added bonuses: it captures the era to perfection; and, it’s a fraud - that ain’t the person whistling on the record.


Easily qualifying is the entire oeuvre of a band named “Ultra Vomit”. They do French comedy pastiches of many (heavy) metal and (hardcore) punk bands, some of whom you may know if you’re into those genres.

They are, however, also quite musically talented and are a pleasure to listen to in their own right. I found them when I accidentally found their Live COVID concert back in March.

Here is a pastiche of Rammstein.

Things go better with Coke. :wink:

Carl Douglas’s other song Witchfinder General is pretty catchy, too.

These guys are good …

Tim Hawkins, the Chik-fil-a song:

If songs for commercials can be included in the category “novelty songs”, then I suppose TV theme songs can, too.

John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back, Kotter” is a catchy, enjoyable song.

So is Bob James’ jazz instrumental " Angela", instantly familiar to any middle-ager as the theme from Taxi.

Most of the output of the Bonzo Dog Band.

Here’s an instrumental that’s hilarious