Novelty Songs

I don’t know why, but this morning I thought of Manfred Mann’s “Blinded by the Light,” which made me think of another song, “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You,” which then made me think of a song about King Kong, which I recall the DJ, Kamasami(sp) Kong, using clips from this song for his radio show. What other novelty songs can you think of? What exactly is the definition of a novelty song?

5 thoughts on “Novelty Songs

  1. Other songs that come to mind:

    “Kung Fu Fighting” (Carl Douglas)
    “Wet Dreams” (Kip Addotta)
    “Tarzan Boy” (Baltimora)
    “Don Quichotte” (Magazine 60)

    OK, maybe the last two aren’t “novelty songs” but for some reason I kind of lump them into the same category. (Same with “Kung Fu Fighting.”)

  2. Dr. Demento made a career out of playing nothing but novelty songs on the radio every week. And of course Al Yankovic made his by writing them. My sense is that people who like these things, as a genre and not just as a novelty, tend to be more my people than yours. Geeks, mostly. I never got as into them as my friends mostly because I was too into other music, but late-night cribbage matches at summer camp with tapes of Dr. Demento are a really nice part of my memories of growing up.

    I don’t think I’d call “Kung Fu Fighting” a novelty song, but I have no problem with anyone else doing so.

    I didn’t know the Kamasami Kong theme music was sampled from a real song. It would make sense. I’ll have to look that up. Or maybe that theme music was the song and the DJ took his air name from that.

    I could probably list 100 without too much trouble, but in addition to “Wet Dreams,” which you mention, I’m especially fond of

    “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” by Napoleon XIV
    “The Human Race” by the Frantics (more of a sketch than song)
    “Space Invaders” by Player One
    “Boogie in Your Butt” by Eddie Murphy
    “No Ass At All” by Aisha Tyler
    “Super Bowl Shuffle” by the Chicago Bears
    All the polka medleys on Weird Al albums, plus “Word Crimes”
    “Talkin’ Baseball” by Terry Cashman (proof a novely song doesn’t have to be funny to be great)
    “Lucille” by Frank DeLima
    “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa
    “My Vag” by Awkwafina and
    “The Hanukkah Song” by Adam Sandler.

  3. Man, I forgot about “Space Invaders.” That reminds me of “Pac Man Fever.” Also, I should have thought of “Super Bowl Shuffle.”

    Another Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball.”

    I don’t think I’d call “Kung Fu Fighting” a novelty song, but I have no problem with anyone else doing so.

    It’s not really a novelty song, but it kinda feels that way.

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