Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Golden Age of Right-Wing Novelty Songs (is Obviously Over)

Of embarrassing right-wing rap videos there will be no end, and the latest one is simply awful. But this was not always so. To prove that there was a time when novelty songs could be conservative and non-terrible, here are five favorites.
1. "Tea Partay" [video]
Oh, the summer of 2006, when men were men and a "tea party" was something friendly! The WASP establishment was already dead, but no one told these guys. And everybody loves a shout out to the Main Line.
2. "Don't Mess with the Mayor" [video]
The Medflies pay tribute to Mayor Eastwood. "Now when I want to see a movie, something hard and fast, / I just go down to Carmel and watch Clint kick some ass."
3. "Let Them Eat Rock" [video]
Wikipedia's description of the Upper Crust gets to the heart of the matter: "The members adopt the personas of 18th century aristocratic fops and sing songs from that perspective. They use titles of nobility, wear powdered wigs and period costumes, and maintain a snobbish attitude while performing live and on their albums."
4. "Ukelele Blues" [video]
Martin Mull sings about his life experience. From the spoken intro: "I was brought up on the deltas of Lake Erie in Cleveland, so you obviously have a whole delta blues there, although it was, I'd have to say, a little more middle class than down in the South, where I understand a lot of blues came from." From the lyrics: Woke up this afternoon, saw both cars were gone / And I felt so low down deep inside / I threw my drink across the lawn.
5. "Magical Misery Tour" [video]
In picking something from National Lampoon, I could have gone with "The Middle-Class Liberal Well-Intentioned Blues," or that unmentionable Joan Baez parody at the end of Radio Dinner, or even "Papa was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie," which is a Motown version of the Communist Manifesto. But I love that "Magical Misery Tour" skewers John Lennon's narcissism using, mostly, direct quotes from his interviews.

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