“Yoo hoo, it’s me,My name is Pinky Lee.” – Pinky Lee
“Everybody love as clown, so why don’t I?” – From “Shakes The Clown”
This post isn’t about Pinky Lee. I’m a little too young to have watched him, but oddly know the theme song. Probably because I haunt places like Kiddie Records. Kids’ record contain more clues to our culture than almost any other source. They represent inculcation at 45 or 33 1/3 rpm. I remember learning to tell time listening to a record. I remember some freakish morality plays, too, including bible stories “adapted” so that kids could understand them.
All written or performed material come with a bias. That’s the nature of creation. From Homer to pornography, the transmission of ideas from one person to another, by nature of the exchange, comes with an ideological and/or personal slant.
I don’t want to get too far off topic (or maybe I do – see what I did there?) but the reason for scripting in telemarketing or tech support calls springs from that paradigm. Some very well paid people sit in a room coming up with the magic word combinations that shorten call times by keeping the phone operator in control. Example – “How can I help you?” gives the power to the caller, allowing them to take off on a free form flight of fancy. Having the operator run through a list of yes or no questions right off the bat, signals the caller to STFU. Of course, those writing the script rarely take into account that such rigidity might piss off the caller.
Back to Pinky Lee.
“The Silly Song” works as a brilliantly evil example of NewSpeak inculcation put to music.
This is a silly song
A silly song
A silly song
It makes no sense at all
You can wait for the silly part of the song for as long as you want. It’s not coming. Not in the next verse. Not ever.
This is a happy song
A snappy song
This is a silly song
It make no sense at all
Silly yet? Nope. We’re still treading water in the Sea of Yawns. What can we take from this so far? The listener is told to consider this silly song for the simple fact that the songwriter says it is. You might make the case that some sort of sly, subversive meta-ness of writing a song that’s not silly and calling it silly exists. It doesn’t. Because then we get to the bridge or “the middle”.
It has no start
It has no end
It even has no middle
And if you should forget the words
You simply sing “hi deede diddle”
That’s kind of self-referentially puckish you might think. But the tune is so dull and uninspired it couldn’t have been written that way on purpose. You can almost hear the songwriters yawning, “yeah – i guess that works. Oh, we’re out of scotch.”
Let’s stop for a moment for some compare and contrast. This kind of whacked-out meta song does exist and existed well before “The Silly Song”. The Hoosier Hot Shots’ This Is The Chorus” proves that.
The man who wrote this song was deaf, he couldn’t hear a note; this is the verse,
But he knew all the rules, he did, and that is why he wrote the first verse first.
The man who wrote the the lyrics was as crazy as a loon, so there’s nothing to this song but the tune.
This is the chorus of the song, this is the chorus you’re hearing now.
You make up the word as you go along, ’cause no one listens to the lyrics anyway.
Tralala, dumdeedum, if you want to, you can whistle or hum.
When you’re singing this song to your friends, just remember this is where the chorus ends.
So the decision to write and record The Silly Song as something devoid of silliness was a choice.
Back to the boredom. A half-hearted attempt to inject some silliness via call and response falls flat on its face when one of the instruments chosen (and I put the emphasis on chosen because records don’t just happen) to do the response…is a bowed stand up bass. HILARIOUS! Of the myriad of instruments available to them they chose possibly the least funny one. Don’t feel badly if you can’t hear it. I had to listen a few times, too.
The song goes on but nothing changes. There’s no clever twist or surprise ending, Just a mom or dad sitting next to the child saying, “wasn’t that so SILLY!”
And that’s the modern GOP. A party that expects you to believe something just because they say it. Supply-side economics demonstrably fail. Giving the rich tax breaks do not increase jobs. Taxing the top 1% is not the same thing as taxing the other 99%. Climate change actually exists. The vast majority of spending isn’t in social welfare programs. You don’t shrink the size of government by outlawing abortion and creating agencies to insure pregnancies get carried to term.
The Silly Song is NOT a silly song. It doesn’t matter who says it is or how often they say it. In fact, it’s possibly the dullest fucking song ever written. Anyone who thinks it’s silly should report to their job at the Ministry of Truth. The GOP agenda is NOT good for America. It doesn’t matter who says it is or how often they say it.
The choice is yours: Pinky Lee or The Hoosier Hot Shots.