A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The best satirical songs ever

Janet at the Art of Getting By poses a question this week that is once again intriguing. I do o love the music questions! She asks, "What are the best satire songs?"

1. Almost everything by Randy Newman, but especially "Political Science," which some would say is not a protest but a blueprint for action. Here's a taste:

"No one likes us, I don't know why.
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try.
But all around even our old friends put us down.
Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

...Now Asia's crowded and Europe's too old.
Africa's far too hot, and Canada's too cold.
And South America stole our name; let's drop the big one;
There'll be no one left to blame us.

...Well, boom goes London, and boom Paree.
More room for you and more room for me.
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town.
Oh, how peaceful it'll be; we'll set everybody free;
You'll have Japanese kimonos, baby, there'll be Italian shoes for me.
They all hate us anyhow, so let's drop the big one now.
Let's drop the big one now!"

Honorable mention for Mr. Newman include "I Love L.A.," "Burn On," and "Rednecks."

2. "Born in the USA," by Bruce Springsteen. Memo to Ronald Reagan: This was NOT a rock companion to Lee Greenwood's "God Bles the USA." It's about promises betrayed.

3. "American Idiot," by Green Day. Actually, let's just make that the whole album. It's like Billie Joe Armstrong's version of "A Modest Proposal," by Jonathan Swift.

4. "Little Boxes," by Malvina Reynolds. Ahh, suburbia! Home of individuality!

5. "Bald Headed Men," by Christine Lavin. Well, at least I think she's being sarcastic....

6. "Money for Nothing," by the Dire Straits. Making fun of MTV, and getting MTV to support you in it. Brilliant.

7. "Peace. Love, and Understanding," by Elvis Costello. What's so funny 'bout that?

8. "Prom Theme," by Fountains of Wayne. Someday, kids, you won't care about your date puking in the fountain in a rented baby blue tux. I promise.

9. "Making Whoopee!"either the Dr. John and Rickie Lee Jones version or the Harry Nilsson versions, both of which are superb. And in that vein, we also have

10. "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites. So sue me; I still love it. And then there's

11. "White Wedding," by Billy Idol. I loved that sneer on this one.

There's more, but I get compulsive about things like this.


At 1/11/07, 1:15 PM, Blogger Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Are you familiar with Randy Newman's "Faust?"

It's fantastic.

James Taylor makes a superb God. Randy is Satan. Don Henley is Faust. Linda Ronstadt is Margurite. Bonnie Raitt is the bad girl.

It's bizarre and whimsical and cool.

At 1/11/07, 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're probably not old enough to remember Tom Lehrer, but I am, and he was very funny. That guy Mark whatever, who plays the piano, doesn't remotely compare. If you ever get a chance you should check him out--there's nothing and no one like him.

At 1/11/07, 4:46 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Mamacita, I have a copy of the CD! Girl, you put Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt on the same album, and they could sing the telephone book, and I'd be there!

And NYC, I do remember Tom Lehrer, from when I was a tiny wee child. "Poisoning the Pigeons in the Park!" I used to listen to Dr. Demento.

At 1/11/07, 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"HEY BOYS AND GIRLS! ITS TIME FOR THE DR DEMENTO SHOW !!!! I too used to listen to the great Dr. Demento. Who else was there to introduce the world to the likes of Werid Al Yankovic? Or play "Dead Puppies"? Or, a song I can now relate to more so every year I continue to teach, "They're coming to take me away!". My Dad never liked Dr. D in the house, so there were times I'd ride my bike around town holding my portable transister radio while listening to the good Dr. D. .....

Re----satire tunes.....I really like Green Days HOLIDAY. And the Offspring's PRETTY FLY FOR A WHITE GUY and THE KIDS AINT ALRIGHT. And Neil Young's KEEP ON ROCKING IN THE FREE WORLD.

At 1/11/07, 10:27 PM, Blogger Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Boot to the head!

At 1/12/07, 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! I was about to mention Tom Lehrer and add a side swipe at Doctor Demento, but better heads than I got there first.

This commonality could be a little frightening, dontcha think? Maybe it's a GOOD thing that we all live scattered about the nation!

At 1/12/07, 6:14 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

What? I think it shows that Edubloggers are people of great taste and refinement.

"The Biggest Aspidestra in the World!"

"Pencil-Necked Geek!"

"Fish Heads!"

"The Scotsman!"

What's not to love????

At 1/13/07, 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about "My Country Tis of Thee"?

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At 1/1/14, 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" by Phil Ochs?


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