Standards!

Even though I’ve got work to do, ever since John did his post asking about standards, all I’ve done is peruse this list of 1000 standards and the truly awesome blog Standard of the Day.

What I love is how goofy a song can be and still make a killer standard — if hearing a bunch of possibly smacked-up hepcats murder a tune from “Sleeping Beauty” or “Oklahoma” or “Finian’s Rainbow” doesn’t cheer you up at least a little, you’re in a bad way, my friend.

I was going to hold a contest for who can name the goofiest song that can be classified as a standard, but I don’t think anyone can beat “Rainbow Connection“.

This post has no real point, so open thread, I guess.






40 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Alex Chilton’s album Clichés is fun.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    @MikeJ:

    What’s on it?

  3. 3

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

    [Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.]

  4. 4
    Hawes says:

    Willie Nelson KILLS Rainbow Connection! He manages to invest the song with something approaching an existential sadness. “Someday I’ll find it/the rainbow connection/the lovers, the dreamers and me”

    That’s actually a sad song when he sings it.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    @Hawes:

    Yeah, I love that too.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Is that one? Apparently, Chim Chim Cheree is, so it’s not unlikely.

  7. 7
    Sad_Dem says:

    Sam Cooke somehow puts chills into “Summertime.” Awesome.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    @DougJ:
    My baby just cares for me
    Time after time
    All of you
    Gavotte
    Save your love for me
    Let’s get lost
    Funny (But I Still Love You)
    Frame for the blues
    The Christmas Song
    There Will Never Be Another You
    Somewhere Along The Way
    What was

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    I was going to hold a contest for who can name the goofiest song that can be classified as a standard

    I think “Jeepers Creepers” is a really goofy song. It should qualify for the short list, at least.

  10. 10
    QDC says:

    I’m on my iPhone, but someone needs to post a link to the Yo Gabba Gabba version of Rainbow Connection. Truly one of the joys of having a toddler.

  11. 11
    Quicksand says:

    My favorite is ISO 8601. I use it every day.

  12. 12
    Toast says:

    I don’t think anyone can beat “Rainbow Connection“.

    How about “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”?

  13. 13
    DonBoy says:

    “Someday My Prince Will Come” (which is your link target) is from Snow White, not Sleeping Beauty. (The equivalent song from SB, “Once Upon A Dream”, is an explicit adaptation of the theme from the Tchaikovsky’s ballet of the same name.)

  14. 14
    ceece says:

    Muskrat Love

    worst. lyrics. ever.

    If that EVER becomes an actual standard , you can shoot me.

  15. 15

    I absolutely love “Rainbow Connection” even when Kermie is singing it. The lyrics are beautiful.

  16. 16

    @DonBoy:

    And not to mention it is a son of a female dog to sing.

  17. 17
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Quicksand: Feh! You call that a standard? What about ISO/IEC 7498-1! Now that is a standard.

  18. 18
    Chad N Freude says:

    Anything by Cole Porter.

  19. 19
    TuiMel says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Whew. I’m not the only one. I like Kenny Loggins’ version from his CD of children’s songs.

  20. 20

    @TuiMel:

    LOL I used it as a song in a pantomime I wrote back in my Navy days in the 80s, (it was basically a mish mash of all of the panto stories and if I recall correctly I also used “Moving right along” and perhaps another one from the Muppet Movie) I was the lead and sang it at the close of the show. When Doug linked to it here I clicked on the video and found that I could sing it (albeit with my cigarette abused voice) from beginning to end without pause and without ever checking the lyrics. (The show was a huge success btw). I also used “Pure Imagination” (from Willie Wonka) which recently has become very popular for commercials for some reason.

  21. 21
    MaryRC says:

    A Tisket, A Tasket. It was a nursery rhyme, how goofy is that?

    And I love that Standard of the Day blog too. I found it when I was looking for the lyrics of a Frank Loesser song and didn’t log off until an hour later.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Does “YMCA” count as a standard these days? Pretty much everyone can sing the chorus and do the accompanying motions.

  23. 23
    Lysana says:

    @Toast:

    How about “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”?

    That isn’t a standard. It’s a Broadway musical show tune that doesn’t stand up too well outside of its context. Especially since you can’t do it as a soloist. It’s arranged for the entire cast and requires the interplay to make it work.

    In the Great American Songbook zone, it’s hard to find a goofier love song than “Bushel and a Peck.” For songs that hit escape velocity out of their musicals, “Cock-Eyed Optimist” is up there.

  24. 24
    chrismealy says:

    @Hawes: beat me to it. Willie Nelson’s version is fantastic. You can really hear the Django Reinhardt in his guitar:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  25. 25
    Johannes says:

    How about “I Wanna Be Like You” (from the frikkin’ Jungle Book, yet!) as performed by the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy?

    Behold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    (Yeah, flushed another lurker with this thread!)

  26. 26

    The Fake Book…..The Real Book, that’s where you can find all the standards you need and want.

  27. 27
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    How much is that doggie in the window? How a nation produced this song, and still ruled the world is beyond me. Don’t get me started on Playground in my mind, Seasons in the Sun. Playing Beans and Cornbread right now!

  28. 28
    Skipjack says:

    Thanks for this link, it plus youtube will keep me busy for a week.

    Night and Day by Cole Porter is my new favorite song again.

    eta- also the Al B. Sure totally unrelated “Night and Day” is pretty good too

  29. 29
    jlee says:

    Sometimes it’s not the song it’s the singer – Ella Fitzgerald singing A Tisket A Tasket.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  30. 30
    justawriter says:

    “Sing Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day” blows Rainbow Connection out of the park in a goofy song competition.

  31. 31
    justawriter says:

    BTW, a great source for lyrics and midi files of standards is mudcat.org

  32. 32
    matt says:

    @chrismealy: Wow, thanks you two. I also am glad I’m not the only one. We wore the grooves off the Muppet Movie soundtrack.

  33. 33
    Cris says:

    This is Standards heresy, but “Embraceable You” has a mind-boggling combination of incredibly moving music and ridiculously shitty lyrics. “Don’t be a naughty baby, come to papa, do” is almost forgivable, but rhyming “tipsy in me” and “gypsy in me” is tin pan alley bullshit.

  34. 34
    Three-nineteen says:

    Not sure why you think Rainbow Connection is a goofy song, other than the fact that a fake frog sings it. The lyrics are, well, pretty standard. The lyrics for Somewhere Over the Rainbow are goofier:

    Somewhere over the rainbow, Way up high
    There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

    Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue
    And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

    Someday I’ll wish upon a star
    And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops
    A way above the chimney tops
    That’s where you’ll find me

    Somewhere over the rainbow, Blue birds fly
    Birds fly over the rainbow
    Why then oh why can’t I?

    If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
    Why oh why can’t I?

    Although I’d rather listen to a goofy song like Sondheim’s You Gotta Get a Gimmick.

  35. 35
    frosty says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Or, the alternative as it was explained to me many years ago:

    Supercaliforniasurferexpertontheocean!

  36. 36
    russell says:

    Polka Dots And Moonbeams.

    It begins:

    “A country dance was being held in a garden
    I felt a bump and heard an “Oh, beg your pardon”
    Suddenly I saw – polka dots and moonbeams
    All around a pug-nosed dream”

    And goes downhill from there, lyrically.

    Beautiful tune, though.

  37. 37
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Another sentimental old sap who adores the Rainbow Connection, especially when sung by Kermit/Henson. I can remember as a kid listening to the Top40 countdown as this song inexplicably went into the top 20. Don’t think it went any higher but I was rooting.

    Jim Henson was one of the few celebrities I actually cried for when he died.

  38. 38
    mark boggs says:

    mahna mahna? doo-doo, da-doo-doo.

    Now that’s extra-standard. Speaking of Rainbow Connection, what about Gonzo singing “I’m going to go back there someday?” That’s a tear-jerker.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    I was going to hold a contest for who can name the goofiest song that can be classified as a standard, but I don’t think anyone can beat “Rainbow Connection“.

    Mambo Italiano.

    And Sweet Scat Singing Jesus, the Standard of the Day site is more addictive than a goddam video game.

  40. 40
    B-Sol says:

    Wow, guys–thanks for the love for Standard of the Day! I put my “heart and soul” as it were (heh) into that blog, and it warms me to see it so appreciated. In fact, it also inspires me to get back to work on it, as I’ve been slacking lately! Keeping checking in, and once again–thanks!

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