Eight Silly Songs from the 1950s and 1960s
What Year Was It When You Were a Teenager?
Ah, for many of us, we were either teens or pre-teens in the 50s and 60s, and some of the crazy songs we listened to had our parents shaking their heads in wonderment or disbelief.
"What's become of the youth?" they cried. "How can they listen to such nonsense?"
Whatever your age or musical era, parents worldwide have been saying exactly the same kinds of things ever since Socrates!
Here are 8 of my particular favorite goofy songs, in no particular order; which is to say, their order here has nothing to do with where they landed on the pop charts of the day.
Ready? Here we go! Please step into the time machine capsule...
1. Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?
This has to be one of the goofiest. I never related as I wasn't a big gum chewer, nor did my bed have posts.
However, I, sure enough, vote this one up for a crazy, goofy song, and fun memories of singing the chorus at the top of our lungs with a group of friends.
2. Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini
This song is funny in its own right; but upon re-listening to it as an adult, I realize it ends without resolving her problem.
Funny how you don't notice those subtleties as a kid.
The title doesn't give much away, and in searching for an accompanying video, I came across more modern meanings to the term. It seems to have become associated with professional basketball.
Hmm, interesting. When I was a very young child, "alley-oop" meant either driving over a hump in a country road, or your dad picking you up suddenly, and giving you a slight toss before catching you immediately. What thrills!
But dinosaurs? Or dina-sawas, if you prefer the pronunciation in the song. Enjoy this for what it is: pure goofiness.
4. Beep! Beep!
Ha! this one still makes me laugh today! Can you imagine the humiliation of that Cadillac driver?
I've never had a car that could 'out-race' any other, but, with careful attention to my driving and surroundings, I've often beat much 'hotter' cars off the line at the stop light; and without even trying. They tend not to like it, and roar past at the first chance they get.
Just for fun: can you spot the continuity flaw in the animation below?
Glad they must have a rich relative to buy their gas for them!
5. Purple People Eater
It was the beginning of the space race, and entertainment featured a lot of movies and songs dealing with aliens and outer space themes.
This song fit into that groove very well, and into the genre of funny songs.
Another space-themed song from the era, which really wasn't a song, but a pleasantly melodic instrumental bit called Telstar, after a new satellite of the same name, was also popular at this time.
6. The Witch Doctor
Talk about a song with lyrics that make virtually no sense at all! The "story line," such as it is, isn't much better.
The Witch Doctor is repetitive to the point of enjoyment by a 2-year-old wanting to have the same bedtime story read several times each night!
Nonetheless, it was another favorite for groups to sing (maybe holler would be a better description) at gatherings or pajama parties to drive the adults bonkers.
7. Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated, Quick...
This song didn't make #1 on any of the charts, but it was Ray Steven's first to get into the top 100, peaking at #35 in 1961.
The premise is that of a spoof on the multitude of 'wonder drugs' then being introduced into television advertising of the era. Many of those were of dubious value, and smacked of the same kind of empty promises made by the quack medicine salesmen of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
I'm sure the animated selection below is newer than the original, but it's interesting to watch if you're fascinated by how they can match animations with the musical beat and melody.
8. Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah
Allan Sherman was a comedic genius with music. He took many folk songs and had his way with the lyrics. The results are hysterical.
The tune is that of Amilcare Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours, from the opera, La Gioconda. It was introduced in 1876, so this is a case of a piece of classical music spanning time.
The lyrics, by Sherman himself along with Lou Busch, are based on actual complaint letters Sherman received from his own son when the boy was at camp.
End of the Line
Our journey is over. Please exit the capsule to the right, and take all your belongings with you. We wouldn't want to cause a paradox for the next time travelers.
We hope you enjoyed the trip, and will travel with us again.
Feel free to comment on your favorites, or add others not included on this trip, or memories you had in this flashback.
© 2017 Liz Elias