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

I actually prefer “The Mesopotamians” from They Might Be Giants.

I’m judging them in terms of popularity/profitability, not artistically.

I think this one is both good and profitable:

Dustman = Garbageman

Thank you so much for this recommendation! I had never heard of Uncle Bonsai (guess I didn’t go to college in the 80s), but they’re awesome! I bought the Inessential Uncle Bonsai and totally LOVED it. Thanks, again!

Do the boys from the Dwarf remind anyone else of Wham!?

I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know. Most of their catalog is just as good, although you might skip Sponge Boy, and I think it’s all on Spotify. Should you wish to be a true completist, Andrew (the guy) released some solo recordings under the name “Electric Bonsai Band”, and briefly formed a sextet called “Mel Cooleys”.

I’ve mentioned Uncle Bonsai on the boards before, and I’m surprised they aren’t a little more popular here. Not as manic and comic as Weird Al, not as literate and satiric as Tom Lehrer, but somewhere in between those two.

And beautiful singing! It’s the complete package…good music, clever lyrics and gorgeous voices. I’ve already picked up 2 more CDs (neither is Sponge Boy).

…which leads me to the rant that I which I could use ear buds, but they don’t fit my ears! Does anyone else have this problem? All the ones I’ve ever tried are too big for my ear holes. So sad.

Well, I’ve always liked the following, but considered them to fit into the category of Novelty songs:

How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away

It Ain’t The Meat, It’s The Motion

Over 100 posts and no mention of Jonathan Coulton?

My entry for Frank Zappa would be Titties & Beer. Great groove, but definitely novelty lyrics.

Most of The Bloodhound Gang’s catalog falls in the “amusing once or twice, then never need to hear it again” category, but two decades later I still crank up The Bad Touch when I hear it on the radio. Pretty good dance party song.

Why didn’t I think of this one until now?

D’oh, how could I have forgotten! Good choice. See also: Creepy Dool, Code Monkey, Skullcrusher Island…

Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, with the great Bill Emerson on banjo. Jimmy couldn’t make a bad song if he tried.

This song has been recorded many times. Here’s the original:

I’m not sure exactly where you draw the line for a Novelty Song, but I think Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hot Rod might qualify as a novelty song since the lyrics are mostly drunken nonsense sampled from the lead singer of Butthole Surfers. That’s the one with lyrics like “Ding ding dong dong dong ding dong Dingy dingy son of a gun”. In Da Gadda Da Vida might also work, it’s definitely a good song but I’m not sure if a song allegedly based off of drunken slurring of “In the Garden of Eden” qualifies.

A really interesting one is Prisencolinensinainciusol . It’s a song written by an Italian that is intended to sound like an English-language song to non-English speakers but is actually gibberish outside of an ‘aww right’. The song was actually intended to be about difficulties communicating and not just a novelty so again might not count, but it’s definitely a catchy tune.

This song has lyrics - lots of folk do not know that

The Shaving Cream song.

I walked in and stepped in a big pile of … shaving cream.

Allan Sherman “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”.

In 1967, Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right. It was not a small undertaking. Amid all the logistics and planning, a Swedish TV station had a contest to write the best song for the occasion. The winner was Håll dig till höger, Svensson, by The Telstars. The title translates to “keep to the right, Svensson”, and is apparently a bit of a double entendre; going left is slang for having an affair, and keeping to the right means staying with your spouse.

Leon Gieco, whose music is not my thing, had a song called “Ojo con los Orozco” in which all the words only use the vowel “o”, which in Spanish has only one sound. All the words are real, and the grammar is correc, if forced, too. Lots of Argentinian slang.
The song is catchy and the video insane.