Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tone Deaf: More Musings on Bad Songs

Welcome back, music lovers! As the poet once said, "Music can soothe the savage beast." But what if the music itself is beastly? Here below are my picks for some of the worst songs ever recorded--dunder headed ditties that make radio static sound like the lilting strains of Mozart by comparison. And away we go!

"Muskrat Love"--Brought to you by The Captain and Tennille, a name you can trust. This stomach turning ballad is about muskrats Suzy and Sam who decide, after an apparently lengthy courtship, to get married. The happy couple then celebrate their impending nuptials by having sex. They must have had the best sex ever known to muskratdom because you can plainly hear bride-to-be Suzy having a chirpy climax in the background.

Believe it or not, The Captain and Tennille actually had a variety show at one time and when they sang this song on their program, they had actors dressed up
as Suzy and Sam cavorting in the background, acting impossibly cute. Unfortunately, in real life, muskrats aren't the least bit cute. The are actually water rodents and, according to Webster's Dictionary, they give off "a musky odor". In other words, they stink--just like this song.

"Afternoon Delight"--This one-hit-wonder celebrating the joys of lunch hour quickies has received a tidal wave of scorn over the years and deservedly so. However, my objection with The Star Land Vocal Band's signature tune is the sheer impossibility of its premise. To wit: that a horny couple can sneak off during their respective lunch hours, rut like minks and then return to work as if nothing had happened.

The problems with this song starts with the male soloist, a smarmy cad who's personal philosophy is "when it's right, it's right"--code for "when it's right for me"-- and would have sex every hour on the hour if only his partner were willing. This he justifies by warbling, "Why wait till the middle of a cold, dark night?"

As the song drones unmercifully on, it assumes that the couple in question have not only the same lunch hour schedule, but work at establishments reasonably close together so they can easily meet. Moreover, "Afternoon Delight" never takes into account traffic jams, accidents, car trouble or work place emergencies that might unexpectedly crop up and thus delay their assignation. Furthermore, the song writers fail to acknowledge that most lunch hours are only 30 to 50 minutes long. Factoring in time travel and the need to tidy up a bit, that doesn't leave much time for sex. And, of course, you still have to eat lunch.

Of course, the couple in question could work at the same business, which would cancel out the need for transportation. However, they would still have to find a private place to have sex without arousing suspicion from their co-workers. And they still have to tidy themselves up and have lunch. Judging from all hurdles you have to navigate to make this meeting possible, maybe you are better off waiting "till the middle of the cold, dark night".

"(You're) Having My Baby"--An unplanned pregnancy is hardly the stuff of tender love ballads. Shock, horror, tears, arguments, nasty accusations about paternity and unfaithfulness, shot gun weddings--these are are the usual responses to unplanned pregnancies. But not in this putrid Paul Anka song. Instead, the unwed-dad-to-be couldn't be more thrilled--but then, he's not the one staring nine months of weight gain, stretch makers, sore nipples and swollen ankles in the face, either. Expressing a sentiment Sarah Palin would whole-heartedly approve of, Paul croons "Didn't have to keep it/ wouldn't put ya through it/ you could have swept it from your life/but you wouldn't do it." Meanwhile, the gal with the surprise bun in her oven warbles in response "And I love what's goin' through me."

And just what, exactly, is "goin' through" her? Waves of nausea? All the urine she's expressing in copious quantities because of the extra pressure on her bladder? The quick silver hormone changes? Wild food cravings? Gas? Paul, who penned this ditty, never tells us.

After suffering through this song, you begin to yearn for the days of forced sterilization.

"Midnight at the Oasis"--Back in 1921, Rudolph Valentino shot to stardom in "The Sheik", a silent hoot fest where Rudy (in the title role) kidnaps a British heiress and rapes her. Naturally, the gal in question (Agnes Ayers) loves being violently attacked and later declares, "I am not afraid with your arms around me, Ahmed, my desert love, my sheik".

If you think that's pretty cringe worthy, try and keep your food down while listening to "Midnight at the Oasis" as sung by Maria Maldour. This song is so nutty, you'd swear it was a parody from the glory days of "Saturday Night Live".

Basically, this tune is about some chick trying to lure some guy into her tent. She's not very subtle, especially when she yodels "I'll be your ballet dancer/prancer/and you can be my sheik." When that offer fails to do the trick, she promises "you won't need a harem, honey/when you're by my side/and you won't need no camel/no,no/when I take you for a ride."

With all due apologies to Maria Muldaur, the best version of this song was performed by Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara, who chose it as their audition piece in "Waiting for Guffman". Needless to say, they are hysterical.

No comments:

Post a Comment