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Does Humor Belong in Music?


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Good question: answer from me is yes but…

because humour in music seems to exist more as a genre unto itself…. And it’s a genre that I only occasionally want to listen to (be it parody, satire, or just general lols…)

I don’t seek out music to make me laugh

 

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As someone who has let out a few laughs at the genre that was aimed at eliciting laughter, I say, "sure, why not?" Loved Zappa's more humorous stuff. Listening to Dr Demento was one of my fave radio memories. Hell, Steel Panther has even conjured a few chuckles in me over the years. What's the harm?

 

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I've always enjoyed music with elements of humor, not taking itself very seriously. Dread Zeppelin is my favorite.  I also sometimes enjoy pdq bach, for the irreverence and surprises, but usually in smaller doses, brevity being the soul of something or other.   

 

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Of course there is humor in Rock, unless you are a stuckup sticky-beaks.  See Van Halen, see this band...

 

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There's so much humor in music but it isn't always the Prof. Tom Lehrer songs or Zappa's peepee caca broad strokes humor.   There are tunes by ZZ or VH that you know aren't meant to be taken seriously.  Hell, for most of his career, EVH saw things as one big grin-fest and you were either in on the joke or not.

I particularly appreciate the humor embedded in the music itself, a passage in which certain notes are a half-step off of where they"should" be, a flatulent oboe or an unbalanced sounding tuba f'rinstance.  The most obvious example I can think of at the moment is Aaron Copland's "Billy The Kid Suite".  There's a "hoedown" segment in there that, even if you don't know the title, just sounds hilarious and silly.  I didn't know the title when I first heard it and it cracked me up. I was, like, 6 YO, gimme a break.  Point being that the longhairs of centuries gone by could build some pretty good humor into the notes themselves.

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Are we differentiating between music that’s funny or comedians who play music…?  Bands like Steel Panther or even Weird Al are legit musicians/singer-songwriters that found their niche in satire/parody/etc. 

Then you can have comedians like Steven Lynch, Garfunkel & Oats, Tenacious D, who are comedians that perform music as their stand up. 
 

 

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Sometimes humor and sarcasm go hand in hand in a good song:

Sometimes humor and sarcasm isn't all that exaggerated, depending on your viewpoint and mood...and it can get really dark (Caution: Hamer Standard content!):

Sometimes a song captures a time period all too well:

And sometimes a song parody makes you wish the targeted artist had actually written it:

 

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7 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

Scandinavian death metal bands are comedy acts, aren't they?  No one could believe they are serious.

Ever watch Metalocalypse?   Sometimes it looks like somebody went berserk at Arby's with the meat slicer:

 

 

 

Edited by crunchee
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Try ANYTHING by The Darkness! Those guys are hilarious, and they freaking rawk!

I rest my case on but one example:

 

Edited by DaveH
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1 hour ago, Steve Haynie said:

Shel Silverstein wrote some funny songs, but they had a basis in real situations.  His lyrics just turned on a spoltlight to some things that go on in real life. 

Bobby Bare formed an unlikely partnership with Shel on this album:

 

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One of many from Junior Brown

Edited by BadgerDave
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