Thursday, November 12, 2009

4 X 4 (Or, "FOUR BY FOUR")

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In celebration of Roger Miller’s birthday which was on January 2nd, I’ve decided to post the lyrics to four humorous songs by four different entertainers who, by writing and/or performing these songs, proved they were in possession of a funny bone.

I suppose it’s only right that we start with something by The Birthday Boy himself. Roger Miller was one of my Pa’s favorite singers and I literally grew up listening to Roger's spectacular nonsense. In fact, traces of Roger Miller’s wackiness can be found in some of my writing even to this very day. (Perhaps you’ve noticed it from time to time?) Dogged if the first lesson I can remember learning in my life - even before learning how to tell time or how to tie my shoes - was that “you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.” Roger Miller taught me that! And so I give you . . .

CHUG-A-LUG
Written and performed by Roger Miller

Glug-Glug-Glug-Glug
Glug-Glug-Glug-Glug

Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug
Make ya wanna holler hi-dee-ho
Burns yer tummy, don't ya know
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug


Grape wine in a Mason jar
Homemade and brought to school
By a friend of mine. After class
Me and him and this other fool
Decide that we'll drink up what’s left
Chug-a-lug, so I helped myself
First time for everything
Umm, my ears still ring!


Chug-a-lug, Chug-a-lug
Make ya wanna holler hi-dee-ho
Burns yer tummy, don't ya know
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug

4 H and an FFA
On a field trip to the farm
Me and a friend sneak off behind
This big old barn
Where we uncovered a covered up
Moonshine still
And we thought we'd drink our fill
I swallowed it with a smile
Ooh, I run ten mile!
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug

Jukebox and sawdust floor
Somethin' like I ain’t never seen
Heck, I'm just going on 15,
But with the help of my finaglin’ uncle
I get snuck in. Bought my first taste of sin
I said let me have a big old sip
Bbbb-bbb, I done a double back-flip!


Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug
Make ya wanna holler hi-dee-ho
Burns yer tummy, don't ya know
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug
Uh-Blooh-Bluh-Blih-Blah

Here’s another one I grew up listening to, thanks again to my nutty Pa. This is a duet between Louis Prima and Louis’ funny sax player Sam Butera. The great humor of this number is really in the over-the-top delivery by both men. Unfortunately, you can’t hear the tune but check out the lyrics though:

THERE’LL BE NO NEXT TIME
Written by Berry / Josea
Performed by Louis Prima and Sam Butera

Sam: I saw this stranger leave my pad and this made me awful sad.

Louis: I don't blame ya!

Sam: But in the meantime, I was getting real mad.

Louis: You had a right to be.

Sam: And I said “Baby, what explanation do you have?”

Louis: Ah-ha, what she say?

Sam: She said, “Hmmm? Next time.” I said, “There'll be no next time, that was the last time for me.”

Louis: You told her right and I'm very proud of you.

Sam: Then I grabbed my hat and I headed for the door.

Louis: Yeah, and don't-- don't— don’t come back either!

Sam: I knew I wouldn't be back there no more.

Louis: You're doing the right thing, Sam.

Sam: Up walked the landlord, a real cool gent.

Louis: And what did he say?

Sam: He said, “Hey, Sam, how about the rent?”

Louis: And what you told him?

Sam: I said Hmmm? Next time.” He said, “There'll be no next time; you’re coming up with it right now.”

Louis: Don't give him nothing, Sam. Pay no attention to him.

Sam: Man, I jumped through that window and my feet hit the ground.

Louis: You were traveling fast!

Sam: I figured I'd better get out of town.

Louis: Wow! How-- how was ya going to--?

Sam: When I arrived at the airport…

Louis: Uh-oh!

Sam: There was that man: “Failure to support.”

Louis: What did you say?

Sam: I said, “Hmmm? Next time.” He said, “There'll be no next time; you're going to see the judge right now.”

Louis: You shouldn't have gone to the airport.

Sam: But he took me to see that little friend of mine.

Louis: Who? That little fella?

Sam: Ha!-Ha! District Judge--

Louis: I remember him!

Sam: Room 229! Ha!-Ha!

Louis: Ha! Yeah! He was crazy!

Sam: He said, “Sam—”

Louis: What'd he say?

Sam: “Your payments are way behind.”

Louis: And what you told him?

Sam: I said, “Don't worry, judge, it won't happen next time.”

Louis: And what'd he say?

Sam: He said, “Hmmm? Next time? There'll be no next time; you're going to jail right now.”

Louis: You shouldn't have gone to the airport! I'm surprised at ya! Surprised at ya!

Sam: He put me in a padded cell.

Louis: Did they feed ya?

Sam: On bread and water, and, man, that was... well...

Louis: How long did they keep ya?

Sam: Thirty days later – Ha!-Ha! - on my way out--

Louis: What you laughing about, Sam?

Sam: Here comes my chick with her big fat mouth.

Louis: Was she alone?

Sam: A policeman had her, he was putting her in jail.

Louis: What she wanted from you?

Sam: She wanted MEEEEE… TO POST HER BAIL!

Louis: What you told her?

Sam: I said, “WHAAAAA--!!! NEXT TIME!!! There'll be no next time; that was the last time for me!!!”

OK, here’s another duet for you. This one finds Hank Williams Junior (“R U Ready 4 Some Football?!”) and Don Helms reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Western music when Junior’s Dad, Hank Williams Senior, was the king of Country. This is some “SERIOUSLY FUNNY” STUFFS!

BALLAD OF HANK WILLIAMS
Written and performed by Don Helms and Hank Williams Junior
[Sung to the tune of Johnny Horton’s ‘The Battle Of New Orleans’]

Junior: Don, tell us how it really was when you was workin’ with daddy.

Don: Well, in 1950 I took a little nip, along with Mr. Williams on the way to Mississipp'. We was stacked 8-deep in a Packard limousine and we met this promoter in the town of New Orleans.

Junior: Now the man told Daddy that he had what it took, and he liked the way he sang and he liked the way it shook.

Don: He said pretty soon he'd make us all rich and we started believin' that fat sumbitch.

Junior: Daddy told the man, if you wanna make some dough, take a little money and book me on a show.

Don: And we played them dates and we filled the places well, but Hank, he'd done blowed the profits all to hell. ‘Cause he'd run through a ten and he'd run through a twenty, and he'd run through a hundred just as fast as it could go.

Junior: Like a big dose of sauce to a little bitty fella, he'd spend a thousand dollars on a hundred dollar show.

Don: Hank looked at me with a funny lookin' grin. Said, "I've been to the Opry and I'm goin' back again." We met the owner in a little office there - a big fat fella with some artificial hair. He told Hank he wanted half of everything he made or he'd have to tell Audrey 'bout the women Hank had laid.

Junior: And you told Daddy he'd better get smart, get rid of them fellas and make a new start.

Don: And he fired my ass and he fired Jerry Rivers, and he fired everybody just as hard as he could go.

Junior: He fired old Cedric and he fired Sammy Pruitt.

Don: And he fired some people that he didn't even know.

Don: Well, every song he made it went to number one.

Junior: Y'all was workin' like hell and you was havin' fun!

Don: We was ridin' every day and playin' every night, and every twenty minutes some of us had a fight.

Junior: Now, Daddy, he was makin' money hand over fist, and y'all was gettin' screwed but ya wasn't gettin’ kissed.

Don: Yeah, I told him to pass a little bit around but he said he'd rather send it to his folks in Alabam'.

Junior: So he fired your ass and he fired Jerry Rivers, and he fired everybody just as hard as he could go.

Don: He fired old Cedric and he fired Sammy Pruitt.

Junior: And he fired some people that he didn't even know.

Junior: Now the owner of the Opry, he's a-doin' pretty good; he's got a music company that they call Cedarwood.

Don: And Hank played nothin’ but sold out halls, and I was pumpin' gas in greasy overalls. ‘Cause he fired my ass and he fired Jerry Rivers, and he fired everybody just as hard as he could go.

Junior: He fired old Cedric and he fired Sammy Pruitt!

Don: And he fired some people that he didn't even know.

Don: Hank’d run through a fifty and he'd run through a hundred and he'd run through a thousand just as hard as he could go.

Junior: Buying Cadillacs, suits, paying double alimony.

Don: And he fired some people that he didn't even know.

Junior: Don, you know, you used to work for me one time.

Don: I sure remember THAT. But come to think of it, you fired my ass back in 1972.

Junior: Oh . . . well it's a family tradition, ya know?

Don: Yeah…yeah…yeah.

Junior: But I kept Jerry Rivers.

Don: Right, right.

Well, that Bit O’Country went down so well, what say we keep it in that genre? With apologies to The Beach Boys, The Doors, Tom Waits, and Warren Zevon, this is the best song ever written about my hometown, Los Angeles:

HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH TO LIVE IN L.A.?
Written by Roger Murrah and Waylon Jennings
Performed by Ol’ Waylon

How much is it worth to live in L.A.?
That land of silk and money where the pretty people play
When they itemize insanity, how much will you pay?
How much is it worth to live in L.A.?

Now I'm not here to criticize or to put nobody down
But they're weirdin' out in Hollyweird everytime ya turn around
And when it comes to crazy, I know whereof I speak
And I know where I'd be leaving if I were walking in their feet.

There's a freeway full of traffic goin' every which way
People dodgin' bullets crawlin' down the interstate
They keep waitin' for the big one, one tremor at a time
Ain't nobody living there - it's all a state of mind.

How much is it worth to live in LA?
That land of silk and money where the pretty people play
When they itemize insanity, how much will you pay?
And how much is it worth to live in LA?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROGER MILLER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO U!

BONUS TRACK:

Just for fun, let’s test your knowledge of song lyrics. I’m going to post below the lyrics to a theme song of a well known old television sitcom, and you see if you can identify the show. Ready? Go! . . .















Well, did you guess it?
Check your answer by clicking on the “Comments” section. I’ve posted the correct answer there.

Ukulelely Yours,

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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3 comments:

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

The answer to the Bonus Track question of this Blog Bit [“Which television show’s theme song were those lyrics from?”] is:

TAXI

I admit, that was a pretty difficult question, so I’m going to go easy on you with the grading: If you got it correct, give yourself an “R.” If your guess was even in the same decade as "Taxi", give yourself an “A.” And if you weren’t even close, give yourself a “B.” I’m nothing if not fair.

~ Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

arlee bird said...

I could have sworn it was "The Andy Griffith Show". But "Taxi" was on in the two decades that I basically stopped watching prime time. And if it was in syndication, well, I usually don't any reruns unless they came before 1970. I'm off the hook aren't I?
Lee

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well, rLEE-b, if you're a fan of 'The Andy Griffith Show' (the greatest sitcom of all time!) then you are not only "off the hook" but you can give yourself an 'R' - the very highest grade possible. It's the equivalent of an A++.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

POSTSCRIPT-- Thanks for playing, rLEE-b. However, if it had been the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show, the lyrics would have looked more like this:
"_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________."