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

WWI was in vogue during the mid-60s because it was the 50th anniversary. CBS devoted a whole documentary series to it, narrated by Robert Ryan. One of the best things ever on TV!

Brains! by Voltaire is awesome, written for a cartoon called Billy and Mandy

A little while back, there was this craze for using audio software to take songs written in major keys and recast them in minor keys (and the other way around). One of the songs that received this treatment was Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and you know what? It was genuinely good. If the song had been commercially available, I think I would have purchased it.

This far down and this one hasn’t been mentioned?!? It got A LOT of airplay in the spring of 1974.

Here it is, in a major key. I think it’s an improvement, but I never had much love for the original, or even the band in general. Sacrilege, I know.

Back when the SNL sketch, “More Cowbell” was still fairly new, there was a website where you could upload a song of your choice, and then you could DL the song after it had been given the More Cowbell treatment. It adds cowbell all through the song, then at breaks, it added phrases from the sketch. “I gotta have more cowbell!” “C’MON GENE!” "I can pull it back a little if you want. . . " I did this to a couple songs, but I really, REALLY hit gold when I uploaded AC/DC’s, “D.T.”(original, no-cowbell version linked for reference.) It was funny AND catchy!

The More Cowbell web app is long gone, but I still have that track saved and in my everyday playlist. I wonder what would happen if I UL’ed it to youtube.

Personal trivia… The store where they filmed the video for The Streak was between where I work and where I used to live. If I needed to pick up a couple of items on the way home from work I would go to that store. It went out of business about three years ago - give or take a couple of years.

Back to the topic. I heard Answering Machine by Rupert Holmes the other day. That may be considered a novelty song and I do like the song.

First song mentioned in the OP I believe.


Yes, as an example of what I didnt mean.
To me, “The Streak” works as a joke, but not so much as a song.

If your opinion is that “The Streak” has musical merit aside from its novelty status, feel free to include it in the thread. But keep in mind I wasn’t simply asking for a list of your favorite novelty songs.


Good god, they’re right. It does sound just like Weezer.

I hate it. :slight_smile:

Kid Carpet defintely falls into that category

More recently “Houses that Used to Boozers” by Luke Wright (most of his other stuff if spoken word poetry):

East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed

Made for the movie, but a seriously catchy tune.

Am I the first to mention Monster Mash?

Catchy as hell, a legit listen for me at a much younger age.

Spiders & Snakes by Jim Stafford

I think of it as a novelty song. It always lifts my mood and makes me smile. First heard it in junior high and identified with the clueless boy. His response to a girl’s interest is so clumsy and naive. Thankfully she sets him straight :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

2nd favorite is Monster Mash. Crazy & silly send up of classic horror films.

I listen to it every Halloween.

Seeing Bobby Pickett perform it live is so funny. He makes some great faces.

Martin Mull is known as an actor these days, but he was a great novelty songwriter.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head is a great song, written by Burt Bacharach. Would that be considered a novelty song?

Not sure if this counts as a good song or not but it’s as funny as video as I’ve ever seen:

I see that Weird Al has been mentioned a few times upthread, but I want to give particular attention to his song CNR. It’s a White Stripes pastiche, (“style parody” as he calls it), and the lyrics are very funny, but I could listen to it all day, just because it rocks so much.

Does everything in the Bubblegum genre count as “novelty?” Is so, here’s my contribution.

David Bowie’s Laughing Gnome, with some fun puns.