Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I once knew a dumb comedy song with these two interesting properties....
December 27, 2012 5:04 PM   Subscribe

I once knew a dumb comedy song with these two interesting properties....

1) It was a song in which the lyrics were just the title repeated over and over.

2) This is the important one: the number of notes in the tune was not evenly divisible by the number of words in the title.

Let me demonstrate what I mean by #2. In the Weird Al song "This Song's Just Six Words Long," whose chorus has property #1 but not property #2, the chorus goes
This song's just six words long.
This song's just six words long.
This song's just six words long.
This song's just six words long.
But if it also had property #2, the chorus would have to go something like this:
This song's just seven short words.
Long this song's just seven short.
Words long this song's just seven.
Short words long this song's just.

So: when I was a kid I was exposed to some dumb comedy song with both property #1 and property #2. Being a ridiculously nerdy kid, I sat down and figured out what the properties were that made it "work" — and then, over the next decade or two, went and forgot the song itself. What song did I hear?
posted by and so but then, we to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
(Note that there are lots of songs you could do this with. Anything with mutually prime numbers of words-in-the-title and syllables-to-a-line would work. But so I'm especially curious whether there is a particular song with these properties that actually got any significant amount of brain share, either as like a Doctor Demento track or as a playground or summer camp song or whatever.)
posted by and so but then, we at 5:06 PM on December 27, 2012


It really really probably isn't this, but I can't not bring you Barenaked Ladies - Deck the Stills (0:33).
posted by lokta at 5:14 PM on December 27, 2012


Are you sure it isn't actually "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long"? Whenever I listened to him sing it I felt for sure he was saying "This Song Is Just Six Words Long." I was never sure if this was part of the joke or not.

Our brains could be broken in exactly the same way.
posted by gerryblog at 5:23 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


gerryblog — No, what I'm looking for is the effect where the lyrics rotate across bars of the music, which "Six Words Long" doesn't have.

The BnL track that lokta linked to is a great example of this. If it hadn't been recorded so recently, I'd figure it had to be what I'm looking for. So I guess the question is, are there older examples of songs that do that same thing?
posted by and so but then, we at 5:25 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was it the potato song by Cheryl Wheeler?

It has both properties 1 and 2 for the chorus, though there are verses as well. It's also sung to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance.
posted by bondcliff at 5:27 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"sorry no words" from the Mad disco special?
posted by brujita at 5:57 PM on December 27, 2012


Very little chance this is what you were thinking of, but it sounds like it's along the same lines?

Hank Green - I Know
posted by miratime at 6:27 PM on December 27, 2012


"Piccolo mini"? Did you maybe learn it at camp or chorus or something?
posted by Charity Garfein at 6:35 PM on December 27, 2012


At camp we'd sing "I am slowly going crazy, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 switch. Crazy going slowly am I, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 switch." repeat until someone breaks.

Not sure if it had any other lyrics. It was part of a zany marathon.
posted by politikitty at 9:41 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The potato song! Yes! That's the one! Though Piccolo Mini and Deck The Stills do both fit the description as well. Thanks, everyone.
posted by and so but then, we at 11:52 AM on December 31, 2012


« Older In the field of software devel...   |  Person bumped into me in parki... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.