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If I Were a Munster...
November 23, 2005 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Some guy once impressed me by humming the theme from "The Munsters" and joining it seamlessly with "If I Were a Rich Man" from "Fiddler on the Roof." In idle moments, I try to repeat this amazing feat, but I can't figure out how the songs fit together.

This will be a hard question to answer, even if you know the answer, because how do you express it in words? (I can't read music.) But you can listen to an mp3 of "The Munsters" theme here. And you can find the lyrics of "Rich Man" here.

So I'm hoping someone can say something like end "The Munsters" 37 seconds into the mp3 and then start humming "Rich Man" starting with blah blah blah lyric.

I CAN come up with medleys using these two songs, but my splice always sounds sort of lame and forced. The guy who (years ago ... I lost track of him) originally hummed it to me did it totally seamlessly, as if the two tunes were meant to go together.

I know this is a trivial question, but I can't seem to get it out of my mind and I'm hoping an answer will allow me to move on and free up brain cells that I can use to cure cancer or something.
posted by grumblebee to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm thinking: "It's the - were a rich man."
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:07 AM on November 23, 2005


"It's the"? Does the Munster song have lyrics? I haven't seen the show in years (thank God), but I remember the theme being just intrumental (as in the mp3).
posted by grumblebee at 10:21 AM on November 23, 2005


I could be inventing them in my memory. I sure seem to remember "It's the Munsters" descending nearly the same scale as "If I Were a Rich Man". Hmm.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2005


I've done the same thing with the Funeral March & Darth Vader's theme, such that I have difficulty sticking to the former without sliding into the latter

just sharing...
posted by leotrotsky at 10:28 AM on November 23, 2005


Here's my guess:

18 seconds into The Munsters it cuts to a bridge (or a chorus, I guess). Anyway, it's after 2 runs of the surf-rock-ish "verse." That trumpet line in the "chorus" would transition well with the part of Fiddler where he sings "All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man. (Hey!)"

It'd be a fun mashup.
posted by Alt F4 at 10:29 AM on November 23, 2005


I could be inventing them in my memory. I sure seem to remember "It's the Munsters" descending nearly the same scale as "If I Were a Rich Man". Hmm.

The Addams Family, not Munsters. Munsters is instrumental.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 AM on November 23, 2005


Alt F4, do you mean those loud DUM-dah-dum, DUM-dah-dums that keep happening in "The Munsters"? That's how I usually mash the two songs together, but I think that's lame. Because you could join on just about any song after that. The DUM-dah-dums sort of seem like the musical equivalent of an interruption...

"Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me the way to--"

DUM-dah-dum!

I'm looking for a slicker, more natural way to join the two songs together. There's a way to do it that sounds totally inevitable, like leotrotsky's Funeral March/Vader example.
posted by grumblebee at 10:36 AM on November 23, 2005


Grumblebee, are you sure you too aren't confusing the Munsters with the Addams Family. The Musnters are the walking, hilarious undead, the Addams family are merely creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky. The Munsters theme is, as Alt F4 said, a surf rock tune, the Addams Family song is your typical 60's theme with harpsichords.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2005


Yeah, I always get the songs confused, I know I get the songs confused, but I still get the songs confused.

But in thinking about the Munsters theme came to me. And I think it's the bridge descending to "If I were..." They do seem to be in the same key, don't they? But what do I know? I'm only a percussionist.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2005


Yes, Pollomacho, I'm sure.
posted by grumblebee at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2005


Ethereal - you are not completely crazy.
There was a short-lived show called Munsters Today in the late 80s, and their theme song put words to the original Munsters song.
Sadly, I remember this.
posted by jozxyqk at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2005


Then in that case you mean the Dum-dah-dum-das, a four note progression, not three, which may be where your seams aren't matching up.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2005


No, I hear it as a three-note progression. It's actually the first thing you hear at the beginning of the mp3, but it comes back every now and again. You could give it the lyrics "BIIIIG fatso / BIIIIG fatso" ("BIIIIG" being the word "big" drawn out).
posted by grumblebee at 11:00 AM on November 23, 2005


Apparantly there were never-broadcast Munster lyrics. But I can't figure out how they map onto the tune.
posted by grumblebee at 11:02 AM on November 23, 2005


I looked up the sheet music here (downloads required beware). It may help you visualize the two songs.

Munsters Theme is in 4/4 time and the phrase is indeed 4 notes.

Also in 4/4 time:

If I were a rich man, dai-dle dee-dle dai-dle dig-guh dig-guh dee-dle dar-dle dum
posted by Pollomacho at 11:34 AM on November 23, 2005


Thanks, Pollamacho.

By the way, it's possible that "Rich man" comes first and then morphs into "Munsters." I rememember the two songs, but no the order.
posted by grumblebee at 11:36 AM on November 23, 2005


If anybody find/makes the mashup I am sufficiently piqued now!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:49 AM on November 23, 2005


Okay, this is really dumb, but I've made up lyrics. You can sing them along with the mp3. They have nothing to do with "The Munsters," but they fit:

Big pizza. Big pizza.

If you like onions and anchovies,
You will love our de-lic-i-ous pies.

(Simultaneously with "pies") Big pizza. Big pizza.

Just take one look at the size of them,
and you'll trash your burger and fries.

(Simultaneously with "fries") Big pizza. Big pizza.

You won't believe how many we have sold.
Tasty hot and very tasty cold.

If you like sausage and parmesan,
Pepperoni -- and baloney...

We challenge you to finish every bite.
You'll be chewing morning, noon and night.

If you have taste buds and fortitude,
Buy our pizza -- and EAT!

===

And! And! And I may have worked it out. I can join it to the other song as follows:

Big pizza. Big pizza.

If you like onions and anchovies,
You will love our de-lic-i-ous pies.

(Simultaneously with "pies") Big pizza. Big pizza.

Just take one look at the size of them,
and you'll trash your burger and fries.

(Simultaneously with "fries") Big pizza. Big pizza.

You won't believe how many we have sold.

If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.


Good lord. This is the silliest thing I've done all year!
posted by grumblebee at 11:57 AM on November 23, 2005 [4 favorites]


This thread was worth reading just for those lyrics.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:25 PM on November 23, 2005


I brought my bandmates to tears by singing the Green Acres themesong to the tune of "A Day in the Life" and vice versa. I heard it years ago on Dr. Demento and I had pull over the car, it struck me as so funny.

Of course a couple of adult beverages enhances the humor quotient.
posted by OneOliveShort at 12:43 PM on November 23, 2005


I once saw the Derailers do a similar live mash-up. They performed the music and sang the melody to "Folsom Prison Blues" but used the lyrics to "Pinball Wizard." Brilliant.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 1:06 PM on November 23, 2005


I love these help-me-with-music threads.

If I were a rich man, dai-dle dee-dle dai-dle dig-guh dig-guh dee-dle dar-dle dum

Love it.
posted by Specklet at 1:14 PM on November 23, 2005


And once you master that, you will find that you can successfully swap phrases from Dave Brubeck's Take 5 and the theme from the original Mission Impossible (Take Impossible). At that point, you have a party trick.
posted by plinth at 1:35 PM on November 23, 2005


I keep sliding the wedding march tune

`daa da da-daah, daa da da-daah'

(or as someone once put it to words `here comes the bride, big fat and wide' - hours of amusement for the under 10s)

Into darth vader's theme.

`daa daa daa da da daah, da da daah'

I think of it as Vader's wedding march.
posted by tomble at 2:44 PM on November 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


Bah -- Mission Impossible and Take Five are an easy swap, as they're both in 5/4. The lyrics are good, though.
posted by rossination at 4:14 PM on November 23, 2005


You can sing any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of Gilligan's Island.
posted by crabintheocean at 4:16 PM on November 23, 2005


Oh man, I just tried that with A Bird Came Down. Double brilliant!
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2005


It looks like you have it(?). I was trying to convey (now using your words):

You won't believe how many we have sold.
All day LONG I'd biddy biddy bum.
(BUT SUNG TO THE "VERY TASTY COLD" TUNE; "long" IS THE HIGH NOTE)
If I were a wealthy man. (Hey!)"

Or something in that vein.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:09 PM on November 23, 2005


In the same vein, Michael Nesmith's short-lived TV series "Television Parts" included a 60-second concert of "There's No Business Like Star Wars" in which "There's No Business Like Show Business" segued seamlessly into the main Star Wars theme.

Y'know, it's been years since that show was on an I still remember stuff from it...
posted by kindall at 7:19 PM on November 23, 2005


You can sing the lyrics to "Gilligan's Island" to the tune of "Amazing Grace."
posted by WCityMike at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2005


I'm so late, but you can also sing Amazing Grace to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme (which I suppose stands to reason, given WCityMike's reply).

And like tomble, I splice The Wedding March with The Imperial March. It works disturbingly well, and I've always considered using the combination at my wedding (not really).
posted by mewithoutyou at 10:03 PM on November 23, 2005


Now try Emily Dickinson to "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Oooh...

*eagerly awaiting the answer to the original question*
posted by SuperNova at 10:28 PM on November 23, 2005


or Emily Dickinson to "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Take 5 and Mission Impossible aren't just both in 5/4 - they both have nearly identical/compatible chord progression. s so you can interleave them by phrase or even 1 or 2 bar patterns.
posted by plinth at 3:59 AM on November 24, 2005


Grumblebee, I've now traveled for five hours on I-95, singing "Big Pizza" pretty much the whole way.

Yargh.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:21 AM on November 24, 2005


Sorry, Alt F4. I hope we can settle this out of court.

If it makes you feel any better, now that I've figured out how to join the songs, I'm singing them all the time. I've figured out how to start with Munsters, go into Rich Man, back into Munsters and then back into Rich Man for ever and ever.

And I'm haunted by the possibility that there might be a BETTER -- even more natural -- way to join them, and that my constant singing of MY way is burning my version into my brain, making it more and more unlikely that I'll ever discover the better version. But I can't stop.

I should never have given up therapy.
posted by grumblebee at 5:08 PM on November 24, 2005


No harm. No foul.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:33 PM on November 24, 2005


Oh. And if you ever record an mp3 of it, post it here or send it my way.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:37 PM on November 24, 2005


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