Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fish heads for your Wednesday.

At dinner on Friday, my excellent poet friend and I regaled everyone with a performance of the Barnes and Barnes song "Fish Heads," which I was so tickled to find she knew. I have finally remembered to go hunt out my own copy of "Fish Heads," after all these years. (My brother and I used to watch the Doctor Demento countdown every time it was on MTV, because "Fish Heads" was always the #1 video.)

For those of you who don't know the song, here's a taste, as it were, though one cannot get the full dementedness of the song from its lyrics alone. However, it reads not unlike Seussian absurd. Imagine many of these lines (chorus in particular) delivered in falsetto (a mid-post postscript, from Wednesday afternoon: go here, or to iTunes, for a sound sample).

Chorus:
Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly poly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum. (repeat!)

In the morning, laughing happy fish heads;
In the evening, floating in the soup. (chorus)

Ask a fish head anything you want to.
They won't answer. They can't talk. (chorus)

I took a fish head out to see a movie.
Didn't have to pay to get it in. (chorus)

They can't play baseball.
They don't wear sweaters.
They're not good dancers.
They don't play drums. (chorus)

[all in a rush:] Roly poly fish heads are never seen sipping cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Oriental women. Yeaaahhh.

(chorus)
(repeat)
(repeat again)
(repeat, sans music)
Yeah.

And there you have it. An anthem of my youth. If you only have time to check out one song I've referenced tonight, I wouldn't have this be the one (go for Hem!), but if you have the spare time, it's worth digging this one out, simply for the unbelievable weirdness of the thing.

source of tonight's image: I've gone easy on those who may feel squeamish about seeing actual fish heads; tonight's image is obviously of fake fish heads, from the Gallery of Functional Art.

4 Comments:

Blogger amanda said...

Do you have a copy of the song for real? I almost bought a Dr. Demento mix CD recently but then never made it to the checkout screen (my Internet window shopping is legendary here at work--I fill carts for the pleasure of pretending I can buy whatever I want but never follow through)> i also LOVE seeing Hem on your list--hey are absolutely one of my favorites, and I can't get enough of their version of "Jackson." I discovered them through Paste magazine, which you must run out and subscribe to if you haven't already.

11:22 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I do indeed! I got it from iTunes the other night, right before I wrote the post. Most of the lyrics I'd committed to memory long ago, but I couldn't have done them all off the top of my head. And so yes, the song is available.

I don't read Paste, but I will look for it at ye local bookstore, which has an exceptional magazine collection. And I do love Hem's "Jackson"; being someone who knows nothing about Johnny Cash, I was startled, to say the least, when I heard the song in Walk the Line. Who knew. I mean, besides everyone. The new Hem album is wonderful, because it has great stuff from the previous albums, performed live without the disappointment that I've come to feel is almost inevitable in live albums, and then it's got some other great songs, too. I love "Radiation Vibe" and also the last track on the album (the one with the harmonized humming). Utterly lovely.

When I listened to the Blanche samples earlier in the winter, I suspected that you might also be a Hem fan. They're coming to Detroit in April, you know.

1:53 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous the brother said...

I can't believe that we left "Fish Heads" off of the top 10 list.
The definitely do not wear sweaters!

2:48 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

*And* they don't play drums.

4:31 PM, February 09, 2006  

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