Songs that are puns (and other wordplay)

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills, and Nash (I’ll bet plenty of people don’t realize the actual spelling of “suite” in the title)

Deja Vous – Siegel-Schwall Band

All Gall – Flanders and Swan (about Charles de Gaulle)

Rhinocratic Oaths – Bonzo Dog Band (as opposed to “Hippocratic.”)

“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”
Sly and the Family Stone

Levon — Elton John and Bernie Taupin

For the lyric, “He shall be Levon”. (He shall believe on.)

Also, Cezanne Says Anne

Led Zep’s D’yer Mak’er.

Moonin’- from the musical Grease
I Hold Your Hand in Mine- Tom Lehrer

More than titles, you know.

Rush has a song called ‘Anagram (for Mongo)’ in which the primary words in most lines are anagrams of each other. Fun song but apparently written just for the wordplay.

I always thought Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog was a pun.

(Heir of the dog = son of a bitch

Maybe I’m giving them way too much credit.

There’s the old favorite Mairzy Doats, which Mom and I used to sing to pass the time on long car trips when I was little.

Hair of the dog is a pretty established idiom - based on the notion of ‘like cures like’ - i.e. that a hair from a dog would cure a bite from that same dog - it goes all the way back to the Romans. In more recent times, the phrase has been accepted to mean a drink of something to cure a hangover from drinking a lot of the same thing the previous night.

Oh… I see the song’s lyrics contain the phrase Son of a bitch. You might be right, although it seems a bit of a stretch.

ABBA’s Eagle is a song about being an Eagle, but is also an homage to the group the Eagles

Maybe not a pun as much as an extended metaphor with a few good puns tossed in … Sniper by Harry Chapin does a lot with comparing a conversation to a sniper shooting at people. The sniper, ignored his entire life, finds a way to make people listen to his questions. When he starts shooting, “his pointed questions [are] sprayed”. When the cops take him down at the end, “with their final fusillade, his answer had come”, fusillade being both “a rapid verbal outburst” and “burst of gunfire”. Pretty cool song.

The blues song* “The Sky Is Crying” actually milks the old Hendrix “kiss this guy” mondegreen (intentionally or not) by repeating the lyric “The sky is crying” throughout, then at the end changing it to “This guy is crying.”
*forgive me if its original form is otherwise, I only actually know it from Stevie Ray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nej4xJe4Tdg
Bob, by Weird Al. A tribute to Bob Dylan entirely in palindromes.

"The World’s Address ", by They Might Be Giants, which not only has a pun as its title but comments self-referentially on its own paranomasia in the chorus.

Country songs (recent ones, anyway) are famous for using an idiom in the title and twisting the meaning.

“She Let Herself Go”
“There Goes My Life”

Not a song, but a band: Loop Guru

If bands are allowed I’m going for The Beatles.

Elvis Costello songs often contain a fair amount of wordplay, which is sometimes cool and sometimes annoying. A favorite of mine is “High Fidelity”… a song about relationship faithfulness which both gives new meaning to the term and deftly references the usual meaning (“Can you hear me?”).