10 Funniest Songs In Rock Music

Funniest Songs In Rock Music

Feature Photo: Mazur Travel / Shutterstock.com

This one is not as easy as you may think. Of course, millions of songs have been written with a sense of humor, but how many times can one laugh at the same joke? Eventually, the humor is lost. Additionally, some of the humor in these songs was directly related to the period they were released in, So some are just not going to get it, and some of us may have forgotten what it was all about in the first place. Ultimately, it all comes down to one’s sense of humor.

# 10 – Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? – Frank Zappa

We open up our 10 Funniest Songs In Rock Music list with the legendary Frank Zappa and his classic track “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” This song wastes no time getting to the punch line. When I first heard this one, I couldn’t stop laughing. However, it wasn’t really shocking to Frank Zappa fans because Zappa’s music is filled with humor going all the way back to the start of his career. There are so many great lines in this tune that we can’t publish here for various reasons. If you have never heard this one before, drop everything you’re doing, and take a listen. The song was released on the album entitled Joe’s Garage. The album was released in 1979. We will limit this list to only one Frank Zappa tune because, as any Zappa fan knows, there are hundreds we could have picked.

# 9 – Dead Shunk

I was twelve years old when this song came out, and I had never heard of anything like this before; of course, at 12, I was immersed in middle school humor. Blazing Saddles came out a year later, and all we talked about in school was the campfire scene. Yes, this was our type of humor. The song was written and performed by Loudon Wainwright III. The song was released in November 1972. However, it didn’t hit the Billboard charts by March of 1973. It even sniffed its way to number 12 on the Cashbox charts by mid-April. In Canada and Australia, the song continued to spread its scent, reaching number 8 and 12, respectively.

The tune spins a yarn about an unfortunate skunk that met its demise in the center of a bustling road, leaving behind a fragrant reminder for passersby. With a mix of banjo twangs, guitar strums, drum beats, and fiddle melodies, the song paints a vivid picture of this aromatic ordeal. Wainwright himself quipped that the song was inspired by a real-life run-in with a skunk, one that he didn’t start but finished, and he famously penned the song in a mere 15 minutes. As Wainwright’s sole chart-topping hit, “Dead Skunk” remains a memorable, if not slightly pungent, marker of his musical career. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

# 8 – 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas

The late Harry Chapin was one of the greatest storytellers in popular music history. He was the first musical act I ever saw back in 1975 at my old high school. He would mesmerize audiences with his storytelling and passionate performances, whether by himself as a solo artist or with his magical band. If you have never heard of the live album he released in  called Greatest Stories Live. I highly recommend you pick that one up. It’s just really fabulous. While most people are very familiar with his hit singles like “Cats in the Cradle” and “Taxi,” his hardcore fans always pointed to this one as being one of their favorites. And I must tell you, my friends, I can never drive through Scranton, Pennsylvania, without thinking of this song.

# 7 – The Streak

I noticed a pattern as I started to put this list together. Many of the first songs that came to mind were all released around 1973 or 1974. Maybe it was my age then, which probably has much to do with these popping in my head first. However, these songs were huge during that period, which can help develop an argument that comedy in music just hit everyone’s funny bone when the nation needed some relief from the Vietnam War and Watergate. Just look at the success of Cheech and Chong in the early 1970s. Ray Steven’s “The Streak” was a reaction to the streaking craze that flashed the US in 1974. Using a modern term, it was a “trend” that simultaneously caused chaos and fun.

# 6 – Fat Bottom Girls

Well, the title pretty much says it all on this one. “Fat Bottomed Girls” was featured on the band’s 1978 album Jazz.  This song became a significant part of Queen’s musical legacy, climbing to number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and securing the number 24 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. At the heart of “Fat Bottomed Girls” lies a celebration of voluptuous women, a theme that intertwines with “Bicycle Race,” its double A-sided single counterpart, in a playful exchange of lyrical nods. The songs share a thematic and musical dialogue, with “Bicycle Race” echoing the sentiment with the line, “Fat bottomed girls, they’ll be riding today,” while “Fat Bottomed Girls” itself urges, “Get on your bikes and ride!”

With the success of the band’s previous double-sided single, “We Will, Rock You/ We Are The Champions,” Queen tried it again with this one. The song’s influence extended beyond the rock domain, notably inspiring the humorous “Big Bottom” by Spinal Tap, showcasing its enduring impact on the landscape of rock and pop culture.

# 5 – They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha​-​Haaa!

Well, as you go through this list, it will all depend on one’s sense of humor as to whether you find these funny or not. This is one that some may love and others, well…… maybe not.”They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” was written by Jerry Samuels under the alias Napoleon XIV, and hit the shelves in 1966 through Warner Bros. Records. This novelty track quickly captured the American audience, soaring to the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by August 13, clinching the top position on the Cash Box Top 100 Pop Singles charts, securing the second place in Canada, and landing at number four on the UK Singles Chart.

# 4 – Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream

This one is fun to listen to if you have the time to listen closely. It is a dramatically different pick from the song we put at number five. It has one of the best-ending verses in rock history that ties it all together. The track intriguingly opens with an early attempt by Dylan to perform the song solo, which is abruptly interrupted by producer Tom Wilson’s laughter, prompting a restart. This false start seamlessly transitions into a full-band performance recorded the following day.

“Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream,” was released on Bob Dylan’s fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home. “Bob Dylan’s Dream” from 1963, delving into a tapestry of satirical and fantastical storytelling that intertwines elements of historical voyages, literary classics, and contemporary references, from Columbus’s expeditions to the Mayflower, and from the narrative depths of Moby Dick to the modern era, with Dylan humorously naming his ship’s captain “Captain Arab” as a nod to Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab.

# 3 – Catholic Girls

Okay, I know I said that we were going to limit this list to only one Frank Zappa song, but I couldn’t leave this one off. Maybe, it’s just my thirst for revenge after my nightmare experiences attending Catholic school in the Bronx for eight years. This song is just perfect from the main lyrics to all the great voices and banter in between verses. Zappa was such a genius.

# 2 – No-No Song – Ringo Starr

Ringo was always the funny Beatles for so many reasons, so it’s fitting that we place one of his solo songs on this list. The 1974 track “No-No Song” was released on the album Goodnight Vienna. On January 27, 1975, it was released as a single in the United States, with “Snookeroo” as its B-side, climbing to the top of the charts in Canada and securing the number 1 spot. In the US, it not only reached the third position on the Billboard charts, marking Starr’s seventh and final top 10 hit, but it also ascended to number 1 on the Cash Box charts.

The song’s lyrics unfold as the narrator recounts encounters with individuals offering him various substances: marijuana from a Colombian woman, cocaine from a woman hailing from Mallorca, Spain, and moonshine whiskey from a man in Nashville, Tennessee. In each instance, the narrator refuses these offers, citing health concerns. The track is further enriched by the backing vocals of Harry Nilsson, and Nicky Hopkins on piano.

# 1 – Uneasy Rider

We close out our 10 Funniest Songs In Rock Music list with the classic Charlie Daniels Band song. “Uneasy Rider.” Once again, we drift back to the early 1970s, especially 1973-1973. This song is a masterful blend of spoken-word storytelling and Southern rock, deftly weaving a tale that mirrors the societal tensions of the time. I remember hearing this song for the first time on one of those K-Tel 20-track music compilation LPs they used to sell in discount stores.

“Uneasy Rider” is not just a humorous song; it’s a cinematic story and a journey. The narrator is a long-haired marijuana enthusiast driving a Chevrolet, symbolic of the counterculture, who finds himself in a precarious situation when a tire blowout forces him to stop in a bar in Jackson, Mississippi. The setting is ripe for conflict, with the bar’s patrons quick to scrutinize the narrator’s appearance and ideals. The ensuing narrative is a clever dance of wits, where the protagonist deftly navigates the brewing storm of confrontation with a concoction of quick thinking and audacious bluffing.

The cultural backdrop of “Uneasy Rider” is essential to understanding its resonance. The early ’70s in the Southern United States were a time of stark contrasts and cultural clashes, where the liberating winds of the ’60s counterculture met the traditionalist values of the South head-on. Daniels, with this song, positions himself squarely within this maelstrom, offering a narrative that is as much a commentary on the times as it is a tale of personal adventure.  Chart-wise, “Uneasy Rider” struck a chord, peaking at number 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

10 Funniest Songs In Rock Music article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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