Rick Wamre: The weird titles that hide in our playlists

Headphones and heart concept for love listening to music

Songs to love

When I switched to a new phone recently, my iTunes account voluntarily offered up a window identifying how many songs I have on the phone (762). For some reason, the very first song on that list was “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

This song didn’t make any year-end “best of” lists, nor did its writer win any major awards. But it’s a catchy little tune about a guy who finds out that by virtue of some unusual but legal marriages (he married a widow who had a grown-up daughter, who married his father, and they both had kids …). Eventually, all of this family business makes the singer become his own grandpa.

I’ve heard this old Moe Jaffe/Dwight Latham song played live once: We were in Wyoming on a family trip and stumbled across a “chuckwagon” theater, where a father and sons were playing Western music. It was funny at the time, so I bought it and promptly forgot about it.

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Until now.

So I started wondering what other odd-titled songs were lurking deep in my phone’s memory or, perhaps, in my own?

Maybe “Satan Gave Me A Taco” from Beck is one of your favorites? Sample lyrics: “Satan gave me a taco, and it made me really sick. The chicken was all raw, and grease was mighty thick. The rice was all rancid, and the beans were so hard. I was gettin’ kinda dizzy eatin’ all the lard.” On and on the lyrics go, with the eventual punchline being the singer figures out the whole thing was a dream, and he was part of a rock ‘n’ roll video.

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Weird Al Yankovic has some oddball songs, too: “Stuck In A Closet with Vanna White” (nothing R-rated happens), “My Bologna” and “Don’t Download This Song” come to mind.

Loretta Lynn is an old-school country singer known for telling it like it was, and some of her songs are no exception: “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” probably didn’t endear her to her husband.

“I Don’t Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling” is from Instant Witness’ album “Noise Gunk Murder Castle.” Probably that says enough.

Even Johnny Cash wasn’t immune from picking a weird song title or two: Have you ever listened to “I’ve Been Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart”? Yeah, it’s not high on my playlist, either.

The Notorious Cherry Bombs reached number 47 on the Billboard Hot Country singles chart with “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night that Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long.”

And since this month includes Valentine’s Day, I’m ending with a “love song” sung by a guy named Mike Snider. As far as I can tell, this song didn’t make Snider a legend in his own time: “If My Nose Were Running Money, I’d Blow It All on You.”

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