Silly songs

I stopped listening to popular music around the mid-1970s or so. While the 60s and early 70s had some great music, it was also a time when some very silly songs managed to get air time on the radio. Recently, while cooking, the chorus of one such old song popped into my mind and I started singing it. My daughter and son-in-law who were present were incredulous that such a song could possibly have been made let alone become somewhat popular and accused me of making it up on the spur of the moment. So I gave them proof.

Here it is.


  1. Karl Random says

    thanks mano. now i have to share the curse within seven days or die.
    been ages since i heard traffic lights. it’s definitely less annoying than the song mano linked. up your game.

  2. Silentbob says

    Adjusting my musicologists bow tie; this song is based on an African American style called “hokum” -- humourous, often bawdy, songs played by jazz musicians using a “circle of fifths” chord progression. It was popular among Black americans in the 1920s.

    Tampa Red was one of the most popular hokum artists:

  3. davebot says

    This explains the “I Love Turtles” ad campaign for Turtles chocolates I remember from when I was a kid. It’s the same song but with Turtles instead of onions. Things I Learned Today™.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    Silliest song ever? Tough one, but Lennon’s “Imagine” is in the running.

  5. says

    “I stopped listening to popular music around the mid-1970s or so.”

    If one’s musical tastes are explicitly classical or jazz or something along those lines and they never liked rock or pop, I can understand. But if their tastes were more eclectic and they liked music of any genre, this would be a shame. One of my pet peeves on YouTube music videos that most songs from pretty much any decade in the 20th century will have comments along the lines of “Now this when they made REAL music!” I also feel sorry for them because it shuts them away from the fantastic music that’s being made today.

    My physical music collection, both vinyl and CDs, includes pop, rock, jazz, classical, R&B, hip-hop, country, and more. There are several languages represented too, because one of the great things about the internet has been having access to media from around the world. I have a pre-order coming in June for the latest album from a Mexican rock band called The Warning that I’m so glad I got to be aware of.

    It’s always bothered me when every generation has had parents shouting at their kids to “turn that garbage down!” Every generation has had its people who argue they had good music, unlike the teens of today. I’m not saying this is you, Mano, I suspect it’s more just your particular tastes don’t go along the lines of popular music. Because mine do, I was always determined not to lock myself away to the music of my youth. Hell, I even just bought my first Taylor Swift album the same day I bought ones by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros., The Cranberries, and Gorrilaz.

  6. Mano Singham says

    Tabby @#13,

    I am quite aware that there is a lot of good music out there. I hear some good songs sometimes when my daughters are listening to them in their cars. My reason for not listening to popular music is actually quite simple. I just don’t have the time.

    I find that when I am reading or writing, which is pretty much most the time, I shut out everything else and cannot pay attention to anything else, including music, because it is distracting. I don’t like to have background noise. This means that I can only listen to music on the radio (or elsewhere) when I am driving or doing something that is not cognitively engaging, like cooking or cleaning or eating. But that is the time I listen to news and podcasts because of my interest in politics. This leaves no time for music.

    Of course, I could listen to music if I prioritized it over some of the other things but I choose not to.

  7. KG says

    Tabby Lavalamp@43, Mano@44,
    I’m rather like Mano in my attitude to music -- and like him, stopped listening to new popular music quite early, in my case, in my mid to late 20s (the late ’70s to early ’80s). My tastes since my youth (when being able to say what music you liked was socially important) have only really expanded to what a friend called “tinkly music” such as baroque (Bach, Vivaldi) and Strauss waltzes. But I don’t spend a lot of time listening either to them or to the popular music of my youth. I find that people for whom music is important find it very hard to understand people for whom it isn’t.

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