Eight Silly Songs From the 1950s and 1960s

Updated on May 4, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

Though not a performer, Liz is interested in historic songs of the modern era, as well as classical; 60s through some 80s; and country.

What Year Was It When You Were a Teenager?

For many of us, "baby boomers" born in the mid to late 1940s, it was the 1950s and 60s when we hit the confused  and troubled  years of our pre-teens and teens.
For many of us, "baby boomers" born in the mid to late 1940s, it was the 1950s and 60s when we hit the confused and troubled years of our pre-teens and teens. | Source

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 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.

3. Alley-Oop

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.

Thank you.

© 2017 Liz Elias

Comments

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  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    2 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Thanks Glenn!

    I had a lot of fun dredging up these oldies. Some of the bands were rather one-hit-wonders; I'm not sure if "Jeremiah Peabody's..." fell into that or not. I don't think that one every got very high on the charts.

    Interesting that you followed the 'not-so-famous' bands. They deserve recognition, too. Although, when I had a college art class, the instructor had a similar view, and for 'inspiration' used to play some really weird sh**...most of the class could be seen using their personal tape players ("Walkman," back in those days!)

  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 

    2 months ago from Long Island, NY

    This was a fun article to read, and to watch the videos. It brought back a lot of fond memories. The only one I didn’t recall was “Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated”.

    When I was a teanager I always paid attention to the creative bands and singers who didn’t make it to the top of the charts, such as Myrth, a rock-jazz band of the '60s. I always appreciated creativity.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    8 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Yep--it was a caveman cartoon in the papers. I do remember seeing it now and then, though it did not appear in the particular paper my folks bought.

    ;-)

  • profile image

    Lynne Miller 

    8 months ago

    "Alley Oop" was a cartoon in the newspapers long ago. He was a caveman. THAT'S what the song is about!!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    11 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Yes, indeed! ;)

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    11 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Yeppers! That it does; I remember that, and found it very funny as a kid. Thought we were speaking some kind of obscure secret language. Ah, youth! ;-)

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    11 months ago

    In English it means: Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy to, wouldn't you?

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    11 months ago from Central Florida

    Yep and it translates to:

    Mares eat oats. Does eat oats. And little lambs eat ivy. A kid will eat ivy, too. Wouldn't you?

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    11 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi Shauna!

    Glad you enjoyed this trip back in time.

    Ah, yes--it wasn't around or popular when I was growing up, by my mom used to sing Maresey Dotes all the time.

    How did it go, now? Maresy dotes and doesey dotes and little lambs etivy...a kiddle etivy too, wouldnchoo?

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    11 months ago from Central Florida

    What a fun ride, Liz! I've always loved "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah". Even though the camper is miserable, the song always takes me to a happy place.

    Another of my silly favorites is "Marsey Dotes". Remember that one?

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    12 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Ohmigosh--I almost spit my drink laughing at that unexpected ending! I never tried that--there was no place on the bed to stick it--no headboard, and no posts...it would have been on the wall!!! Hahahaha Glad you enjoyed this sojourn.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    12 months ago

    I had a good ride down memory lane today. I remember singing the Chewing Gum song. Although my parents didn't appreciate the follow through on our beds!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    13 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Hahaha...right? They say the memory is the first to go...I guess I'm halfway 'there,' wherever that is! :D

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    13 months ago from England

    LOL! brilliant! polka dot bikini! whoo that brings back memories! I can remember it from when I was tiny! I think? now I am doubting myself! lol! love purple eater too! great stuff!

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    13 months ago

    You're welcome. The 50s and 60s seeemd the time for dumb dittys. Granted every era has them but somehow they seemed to be more of them during that time.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    13 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, Robert--

    I did consider it briefly, but the only video I could find was one that was doctored up for Halloween...there are a few others I could have included as well, but decided to keep the list from becoming too unwieldy. Thanks for your bit of trivia--I've not seen that movie; and thanks for the suggestion.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    13 months ago

    A good list. In the movie, "One, Two, Three" the song, "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny..." was used to torture a prisoner. Did you consider "They're Coming to Take Me Away"?

  • Blond Logic profile image

    Mary Wickison 

    13 months ago from Brazil

    I had forgotten about some of these. I think this generation will also have their own list of silly songs.

    Thanks for that trip down memory lane.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    13 months ago from Oakley, CA

    Sorry about the earworm, Bill! Some of them were like that, eh? Just be grateful I did not make it a 'top 10' list...you have 2 fewer to get stuck in your head. ;-)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    13 months ago from Olympia, WA

    There truly were some very strange songs during my teen years...I would thank you for this list, but now you have me humming one of them, so thanks a lot, Lizzy! LOL

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