Monday, May 11, 2015

Miscellaneous List: 8 Songs With Laughing, and 2 That Need It

Hmmm...so wow, it looks like I've been away awhile.  I have a good reason though.  No really, I do.  My wife had a baby.  Baby #4, actually.  And no, we don't call the baby Baby #4 like we're living in the worlds of Anthem or Logan's Run.  We named her Murphy, and she's awesome, but also sort of a time suck at the moment, which is okay because, like I said, she's awesome.  So for now, I'm not writing on a regular basis like I'd prefer.  Eventually things will settle down a bit and life will become more routine, but for now, I'm writing when I can, and when I can, the blog is secondary to my (sloooooow) work on the new novel.  Again, it's all okay and will work out.

So here's something I was thinking about the other night at 2 a.m. while trying to get Murphy back to sleep:  Songs with laughing in them.

My first thought was that no respectable song should have any form of laughing in them, as it comes across as completely phony.  Then, as I thought of more songs off the top of my head, I realized some songs have allowable laughter.  So here's my list of songs with laughter categorized by whether or not it's okay by me.  (Granted, these are the songs I could think of without Google's help.  I'm sure there are others, but they just weren't in my middle-of-the-night purview (vocabulary word!).

Disagree with me or add songs with laughs in the comments section below (with whether you okay it or not).

Songs With Acceptable Laughter:
1. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.  Legitimately maniacal laughter in a song is okay, and Ozzy sounds legitimately maniacal here.  A great song, too.  Laugh at 2 seconds in.  (Obviously before he became a reality TV joke.)

2. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.
A cheat, probably, because it's Vincent Price and not Michael Jackson, but man it's great.  I wish I could pump this into my kids' rooms at night when they're supposed to be sleeping in order to frighten them back to bed.

3.  "Wipeout" by The Sufaris.
Again, a maniacal laugh to start a song, and a great one.  Again, the laugh is at 2 seconds in.  Coincidence?
(Fun fact, I just realized this band was spelled with a "u" and not an "a".  Seriously, I thought it was the Safaris.  This just makes the laugh even okay-er.)

4. "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" by The Monkees.
This is such a dopey, fun song it gets a pass.  They're laughing throughout, so just go listen here.

Songs with Unacceptable Laughter:
1. "Only Human" by Billy Joel.
I'm not going to be a bandwagon Billy Joel basher here.  I like Billy Joel.  Sue me.  But man, the fake laugh in this song, the one that happens after he accidentally stutters, is terrible.  Go watch the video though--laugh at 3:55--it's bonkers.

2. "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.
I'll admit it, this is a awesomely catchy little pop song.  Omit the stupid spoken word moment in here, and you might even have a pop classic.  But that little snide giggle after she sings, "I go on too many dates" is the very definition of forced.  We get the joke, Taylor--"Can I call you Taylor?  Or does the judge's restraining order preclude me from it?--you're poking fun at yourself, but your listeners aren't idiots.  Show, don't tell...or actually the opposite of that here.  Laugh at 19 seconds.

3. Ob La Di Ob La Da by The Beatles
Sorry, no.  And yes, I get it, I accepted a Monkees song and rejected a Beatles song.  This laugh sounds like a studio creation.  Nah.  They sort of laugh throughout the end.  

4. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
I'm not sure that what that noise is in the beginning of this song or even counts as a laugh, but it's unnecessary, and ruins one of the quintessential songs in my musical development.  It's a damn weird song, and when I was 12 and heard it for the first time most of the songs I knew were 70's rock standards.  I remember hearing this song for the first time, thinking, "Well, that's different", and also thinking, "But what is that dumb noise in the beginning?"  It's a giggle, right?  That makes it doubly annoying.  0 seconds in!

Songs That Would Be Better with a Maniacal Laugh:
1. The Christmas Shoes.
2. Candle in the Wind by Elton John. (Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana...either version.)

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