the novelty never wears off

Typically, at my age, when something stored in the deep pits of my mind decades ago resurfaces, it usually arrives incomplete. Just fragments of the original whole. But sometimes, like earlier today as I was preparing for work, it reappears as I first experienced it in my youth-

Eight feet tall, what a doll,
She played high school basketball,
Has anybody seen my gal?

Cauliflower ears, guzzles beer,
She could eat a half a steer
Has anybody seen my gal?

So if you run into an eight-foot shrew,
Covered with hair,
Don’t be surprised, believe your eyes,
Her mother was a grizzly bear.

What the heck, she can’t neck,
she plays football for Georgia Tech,
Has anybody seen my gal?

This came to mind as I was wondering what ever happened to ‘Novelty’ songs like the ones played on the radio in rotation with all the “serious” music of the day. I know these (usually) humorous tunes were around long before my time and were common thru the ’60s and ’70s. One of my favorites is ‘Guitarzan’ by Ray Stevens. ‘Guitarzan’ was a top-ten hit in 1969 holding its own on the charts against Creedence, the Stones and many other famous pop/rock acts. Not that Novelty songs died overnight. Jimmy Castor’s ‘Bertha Butt Boogie’ was the (spiritual) ancestor of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ but in recent years I can’t name any. (maybe I just lead a sheltered musical life listening to all my ’70s “Art Rock” groups)

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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3 Responses to the novelty never wears off

  1. felixwas says:

    Didn’t Ray Stevens have a hit with a song about the Herb Superb?

  2. cwmackowski says:

    When I was a kid, I used to love to listen to novelty songs. They were a great genre, and today, I look back on them with great nostalgia. Ray Stevens’ “The Streak” was my favorite. My son lately discovered “Kung Fu Fighting” (although I’m not sure the singer intended that one to be a novelty song).

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