The Song That Got Me in Trouble Back in My 5th Grade Catholic School Music Class

For some reason, our music teacher decided that we should get into groups of three. Each group would practice a song together and then present to the class as a group. The best part was that we were allowed to pick any song we wanted. In 5th grade I was a bit of a prankster. This was a golden opportunity to get a laugh from my classmates and sweet exasperation from our music teacher.

I easily talked the other two kids in my group into my plan to disrupt the class. We were going to sing “Song of the Pious Itinerant”, also known as “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum”.

The song had been recorded by several performers over the years, but I learned the song from The New Christy Minstrels. Apparently my uncle had originally purchased a copy of their album, Tall Tales! Legends & Nonsense. I found it among other records that had been collected before I was born, but ended up at grandma’s house.

Finally it was our turn to sing our song in front of the class. I even had typed lyric sheets.

First, the intro.

Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Of course this was taken directly from Handel’s Messiah. In the Catholic Church this is considered sacred music. We got through the intro with only a stern glance from the teacher.

Then the song goes right into a chorus

Hallelujah, I’m a bum
Hallelujah, bum again
Hallelujah, give me handout
And you’ll be my friend

My little singing group got through nearly a minute of the song when the teacher demanded that we stop. She told us to step out to the hall and wait for her. Shortly thereafter I was in the principal’s office.

It turns out that we were committing blasphemy. WHOOPS! The reason they gave was that the music to Handel’s Messiah was too sacred to mock by using it as an intro for such a vulgar song. They sent me home with a note to my parents. My mother saw the note and asked me what happened at school. I told her. She laughed. I hope you did too.

Have you ever gotten in trouble at school for singing a song? What song? Did you sing it for class like I did, or maybe got caught in the hallway in between class? Let me know in the comments!

-Wacky Alex

“The Final Countdown” COVERED? and New Year’s resolutions

A few days ago I asked my friends over on SpaceHey what songs they like to put on a New Year’s Eve playlist. One song was mentioned over and over. That’s “The Final Countdown” by Europe. You know, it was a massive hit in the 1980s, But did you know it was covered by the Slovenian Industrial band called Laibach.

Far out video right? I love it.

The second part of this blog is about New Year’s resolutions. Do you have one? Share it in the comments!

I have two resolutions this year. One is to simply try something new. My second one is to figure out how to live stream on YouTube. Cheers and Happy New Year!

-Wacky Alex

Why You DO NOT Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is a novelty song written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey. She was 10 years old at the time in 1953. The Three Stooges went on to record a version in 1959. Many others have recorded it since then as well.

In the song, the singer expresses that she wants to become the proud owner of a hippopotamus. For example, these Lyrics:

Mom says a hippo would eat me up but then
Teacher says the hippo is a vegetarian

The problem here is that while it is entirely true that Hippos do not eat meat, they are still very capable of killing human beings.

According to the BBC, “the hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth. And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.”

National Geographic has reported on conflicts between Humans and Hippos in Kenya over land and resources. They Hippos are not playing and they are tired of our crap.

So while this is a great song, maybe we should give plush toy hippos to our kids and some reserve habitat to the hippos.

Christmas Tree’s ON FIRE !?

FIRST – Check out the lyrics!

The Christmas Tree’s on fire
It’s burning down the house
Flames are getting higher
And I’m try’na put it out

I’m beatin’ it back with a tube sock
And a cushion off the couch
The Christmas Tree’s on fire
And it’s burning down the house

I discovered this song as performed by Holly Golightly while surfing YouTube about 8 years ago. At first I thought this was a recording from the 60s. It’s actually came out in 2006. There’s something about the drums that makes it sound extra retro.

This is the kind of wacky holiday music we are playing right now on FunHouseRadio.com so if you liked this, tune in to the live stream for more!

photo: CityNews.ca

Binge-Watching Ren & Stimpy

I signed up for Paramount Plus for the Star Trek. I didn’t expect that I would also gain access to all of the original Ren & Stimpy episodes that first appeared on Nickelodeon. As of 2021, 37 episodes are available to watch on P+.

We didn’t have cable at my house when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. By the second year the show was on, I was attending college. I took being a college student seriously. Basically, I never got to see much of the show when it was originally aired.

I remembered the Happy Happy Joy Joy song. I remembered the parody commercials for “log”. I am super late to the party on this but while binge watching the show, I stumbled onto this little number.

“The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen Anthem” is bat-shit crazy. HOLY SHIT. I wish I could find the entire song on YouTube. Nick is only giving us this little snippet. Now I plan to buy the ‘Best of NickToons” CD it was later released on, if I can locate a copy!

And if you are ready for something even STRANGER, check out the GERMAN VERSION!

(All I Want for Christmas is) My Two Front Teeth

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” is a novelty Christmas Song written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner. He was a music teacher at the time. As many teachers do, he asked his second grade class what they all wanted for Christmas. He noticed that many of his students answered with a certain lisp because they had lost a tooth or two in the front of their young mouths.

The song was published in written form in 1948 after music executive discovered Gardner singing the song at a music teacher’s conference. The rest is history, as they say.

A quick search on Discogs reveals that this song have been recorded by dozens of artists. These include Little Tommy Tucker, Alvin & The Chipmunks, The Andrew Sisters, Spike Jones, Arthur Godfrey, The Three Stooges, The Platters, The Sesame Street cast, and even Danny Kaye. My favorite version is by Nat “King” Cole.

Pretty nifty right?

What is even more fun is the cover-art found on the various singles, compilation and albums that feature the song. Take a look at what I found, starting with the cassette tape that I had as a child.

Below we have the jacket used on the Spike Jones version released on RCA Victor as a 45rpm 7inch record.

The LP below has been re-released a number of times on different record labels.

Below is a box collection of 45pm records that were created specifically to work with record changers.

*Chipmunks* Roasting on an Open Fire ??!!

You read that right! This the kind of Holiday Music I’m playing right now on FunHouse Radio. This track appears on several Bob River’s Holiday albums, which feature a variety of collaborators. I don’t know the name of the singer that is imitating Nat “King” Cole but it’s spot on. Play this for an unsuspecting coworker! It’s weird but safe for work.