Thursday, August 28, 2008

Carnival of Gaggy Songs

OK, I’ve been so involved thinking about religion and/or politics lately, that I’ve forgotten about the music that always sings in my heart. (Mrs. Ex might say that it sings in a different body part, especially after I’ve eaten beans.) Anyway, I’ve decided to share with my friends some songs that always make me gag. For your reading, listening, and viewing pleasure, they’re organized by category, and I’ve included short commentaries to explain my choices. I hope you don't lose your lunch when you click on the links.

Gaggiest Woo Song
Oh, there are so many songs in this category, where do I begin? Hardly anything can beat "Onward, Christian Soldiers" for militant Christian disgustingness or "Rock of Ages" for that old time self-righteous glow. When it comes to mixing patriotism and woo, it's impossible to top "God Bless America." But my all-time gaggiest Woo Song has to be When You Wish Upon a Star, for its crypto-religious message. In the version linked here, the "crypto" is elevated to "quasi." Or "Quazy," depending on your worldview.

Gaggiest Commercial Jingle
I first heard this tune in the 1950s, but it still goes through my head every time I’m ambivalent in the cereal aisle. So many crunchable treats, so few earworms. By the way, I blame The Betty Crocker Pick-a-Pack Package Song for my lifelong love of lousy alliteration. Bonus: If you listen closely to the commercial, you'll find out which cereal is gay.

Gaggiest Love Song by a Sperm Donor
I'm not convinced that every woman would find it endearing to know that some man interpreted her pregnancy as a sign of love for him. Having My Baby is clearly anti-abortion propaganda, but most people don't know that the voice of the person singing along with Paul Anka is a young Antonin Scalia. If you watch the linked video, you can see the result of a wild night the two guys had after recording the tune.

Gaggiest Hymnlike TV Theme Song
Whenever anybody asks me "Why," I'm always tempted to respond: "Why? Because we like you!" The Mickey Mouse Club Closing Theme is so simple-mindedly contagious that it's been elbowing far more important stuff out of my brain ever since I was a little boy. Why? Because I'm a fucking idiot.

Gaggiest "Everything’ll Be All Right, You’ll See" Song
Every song in this particular category is nauseating, but there's only one with a tune so sappy-catchy that it keeps ringing and ringing and ringing in my ears until I want to move into a cave just so I'll never have to see any sunlight again: Tomorrow.

Gaggiest "Well, That Really Fucked Up My Life" Song
Teenagers and young adults don't seem to melodize about personal tragedies any more the way my generation did. We had quite a few hit tunes about dying young lovers: in a plane crash, a motorcycle wreck, a drowning, and even from leukemia. Where do I begin to tell the story of how sick these ditties make me? But how can you beat a car crash during a stock car race for pathos? If it were up to me, Tell Laura I Love Her would be played before every NASCAR event. The cartoonist who created the linked video must have no soul. Hey, he's just like me!

Gaggiest Song That Mentions Both Kittens and Strudel
I don't know if there are any other songs in this category, but this number is definitely one of the most stomach-turning music-and-lyrics combos ever written. As most of my regular readers know, I don't tend to go gaga over kittens. However, I've never revealed before that crisp apple strudel is also not one of My Favorite Things. As far as I know, the linked version is the only performance featuring a woman who was found guilty of negligent homicide, and not just for killing the song.

Gaggiest Non-Children’s Song in Which a Word Is Spelled Out
I have very little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for any lyricist, even if she's a W-O-M-A-N named G-L-O-R-I-A or L-O-L-A, who thinks it's clever to resort to spelling; it’s really just a cheap trick for creating doggerel. Nine letters (no prizes for identifying them) rhyme with "me," "knee," and "chimpanzee." The worst of these songs, though, is the treacly D-I-V-O-R-C-E, even if it's used — as it is in the linked version — to help people learn English.

Gaggiest Song About Something Appetizing to Eat
You might think that I would love any song about food, perhaps with the exception of The French-Cut Canned Stringbeans Polka. But you may have forgotten this saccharine sweet ditty that my wife and I sing whenever we’re trying to resist dessert (which, to be honest, is rarely to never). This may be the only version of The Candy Man that doesn't put me into insulin shock.

Gaggiest Song Ever
Let's face it. Kumbaya is the sine qua non of gaggiosity. Someone's retching, my Lord.


((Billy)) said...

What, Teen Angel isn't treacly enough to be included? That one gags me every time I hear it. She kills herself to grab his high school ring. Blech.

I agree with Kumbaya, though My Goat Knows the Bowling Score comes close.

Anonymous said...

A couple of those mouseketeers appeared to be working really hard (and unsuccessfully) to hide their snickers. I can't imagine trying to sing the Mickey Mouse song so solemnly.

John Evo said...

I enjoy all of them at times. From Rock of Ages to Kumbaya. What the fuck's your problem? Do you hate "The Exorcist" because it's got religion in it?

You know, Ex, all you need is a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.

The Exterminator said...

Yeah, Teen Angel was a candidate, but in the end, Tell Laura won my vote. I think the factor that pushed me over the edge was the foreshadowing conversation with Laura's mother. If I remember correctly, the angel had no relatives who were mentioned.

As far as My Goat goes, the fact that it can be parodied makes it automatically less gaggy.

I sure hope that Darlene wasn't one of the chucklers. I always thought she was more sincere than Annette.

I enjoy all of them at times.
Look, I was talking about listening to them, not singing them. We already know you'll sing anything except Shakespeare.

John Evo said...

Put a tune to it...

Anonymous said...

Evo: Gilligans Island: "I ask to be, or not to be, that is the question that I ask of thee."

John Evo said...

I could do that.

I can also do: The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost. The Minnow WOULD BE lost.


No Phones! No lights! No motor cars. Not a single lux-u-ry. Like Robinson Ca-ru-so, it's primitive as can be. So join us here each week my friends, your sure to get a smile. From seven stranded castaways, here on Gilligan's Isle.

@ Ex - LAFTA is the best medicine.

heather said...

What? You managed to compile this generally admirable list without mentioning things like the Coca Cola song "I'd like to teacxh the world to sing", Elton John's Diana death tribute song or Paul McCartney's "Frog chorus". Were you even trying?
And there is a whole genre of Christian rock the very mention of which brings on a gag reflex.

The Exterminator said...

Sorry for omitting some of your personal least favorites. But I stopped at ten because there are only so many earworms I can survive at once. Perhaps you, Evo, and (((Billy))) will collaborate on a sequel to this post and throw in "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" as well as the theme song to Gilligan's Island.

So many gaggy songs. So little time to be nauseated.

((Billy)) said...

Evo and Ex: I was not referring to the Gilligan's Island theme song. I was referring, instead, to a particular episode in which, to convince a Broadway producer (?) to get them off the island, they produce a musical version of Hamlet, which included a musical version of Hamlet's soliloquy.

As for gaggy music, did ya'll ever attend an 'Up With People' concert?

The Exterminator said...


You're a mind reader. I originally included Up With People as one of my gaggiest picks, back when I thought I'd list 25 songs. But finding and linking just the meager ten tunes mentioned here was a lot of work. So, reluctantly, I had to postpone it until next time -- or until you do your own post on this subject. In the meantime, I can't resist sharing the diarrhetic lyrics to the refrain.

Up, up with people.
You meet 'em wherever you go.
Up, up with people.
They're the best kind of folks I know.
If more people were for people,
All people everywhere,
There'd be a lot less people to worry about,
And a lot more people to care.

It sounds like a speech by Barack Obama, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

When we lived at Grand Canyon, not only were there "Up With People" concerts in the high school gym, but we 'hosted' performers a couple of times. We even had LPs and song books from the group. Sometimes I wonder about the things Mom and Dad exposed us kids to. (sorry, the things to which Mom and Dad exposed us kids.)

4rx said...

Some of these songs are real good, other I haven't heard them before.

cuccioli alano tigrato said...

Great work, as usual!