UNUSUAL SONGS

Old, Fun, Silly, and Unusual Songs of the
Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies

Most of the novelty songs listed below dating from the 1950s made the British charts. All links are to You Tube
More contrived novelty Christmas songs are here

1950s

A

B

C

  • The Cat Came Back (Sonny James, 1956)
  • Catch a Falling Star (Perry Como, 1957)
  • Chantilly Lace (Big Bopper, 1958)
  • Charlie Brown (The Coasters, 1959)
  • Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy (Red Foley, 1950)
  • The Chipmunk Song (David Seville & the Chipmunks, 1958)
  • The Clapping Song (“Clap-pat clap-slap”) (Shirley Ellis, 1965)
  • Choo’n Gum (“A chew, chew, chew, chew choo’n gum”) (Teresa Brewer, 1950)
  • Come On-a My House (Rosemary Clooney, 1951)
  • Cumberland Gap (Lonnie Donegan, 1957)

D, E, F

G

H

I, J

K, L

M

  • Mad Passionate Love (Bernard Bresslaw, 1958)
  • Mama (David Whitfield, 1955); also Connie Francis version, 1959
  • The Man from Laramie (Jimmy Young, 1955)
  • Margie (Fats Domino, 1959)
  • Me And My Teddy Bear (Rosemary Clooney, 195?)
  • Melting Pot (Blue Mink, 1969)
  • Memories Are Made of This (Dean Martin, 1955)
  • Middle of the House (Alma Cogan, 1956)
  • Mocking Bird Hill (Burl Ives, 1950s)
  • The Mummy (Bob McFadden and Dor, 1959)
  • Music, Music, Music (“Put Another Nickel In”) (Teresa Brewer, 1950)

N, O

P, Q

R

S

  • St George and the Dragonet (Stan Freberg, 1953)
  • See You Later Alligator (Bill Haley and The Comets, 1955)
  • Seven Little Girls (The Avons, 1959)
  • Sh-Boom (The Chords, 1954)
  • She Wears Red Feathers (Guy Mitchell, 1952)
  • Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop (Little Anthony and the Imperials, 1959)
  • Short Fat Fanny (Larry Williams, 1957)
  • Short Shorts (The Royal Teens, 1957)
  • Sing Little Birdie (Teddy Johnson & Pearl Carr, 1959)
  • The Six Five Special (Bob Cort Skiffle Group, 1957)
  • Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1955)
  • Somebody Bad Stole de Wedding Bell (Eartha Kitt, 1954)
  • Sparrow in the Treetop (Guy Mitchell, 1951)
  • Splish-Splash (Bobby Darin, 1958)
  • Stagger Lee (Lloyd Price, 1959)
  • Stranded In The Jungle (The Cadets, 1956)
  • Stupid Cupid (Connie Francis, 1958)
  • Sugartime (Alma Cogan with Mike Sammes Singers, 1958)

T

  • Takes Two To Tango (Dean Martin, 1952)
  • A Teenager In Love (Dion & The Belmonts, 1959)
  • Thank you very much (The Scaffold, 1967)
  • The Thing (Phil Harris, 1950)
  • This Ole House (Rosemary Clooney, 1954)
  • Three Stars (Ruby Wright, 1959)
  • Transfusion (Nervous Norvus, 1956)
  • Triplets (The Beverley Sisters, 1953)
  • Tutti Frutti (“A Wop-bop-a-loo-mop a-lop-bam-boom”) (Little Richard, 1955)
  • Twenty Tiny Fingers (The Stargazers, 1952) and also version by Alma Cogan (1955)
  • Two Little Men In A Flying Saucer (Ella Fitzgerald, 1951)
  • Two Lovely Black Eyes (Stanley Holloway, 1950s, originally recorded by him in 1934)
    (there was another version, however, with the line “Only for kissing another man’s wife”)
  • The Typewriter (Leroy Anderson, 1950)

U, V

  • Ugly Duckling (Danny Kaye, 1952)
  • Veni Vidi Vici (Ronnie Hilton, 1954)
  • Victory Calypso (“Cricket Lovely Cricket”) (Egbert Moore (Lord Beginner), 1950)

W

X, Y, Z

1960s

A

  • Abergavenny (“Taking a trip up to Abergavenny”) (Shannon aka Marty Wilde, 1969)
  • Ahab the Arab (Ray Stevens, 1965)
  • Ally Oop (The Hollywood Argyles, 1960)

B

C

  • Calendar Girl (Neil Sedaka, 1961)
  • Catch Us If You Can (Dave Clark Five, 1965)
  • Cinderella Rockefella (Esther and Abi Ofarim, 1968)
  • The Coffee Song (“They’ve Got an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil”) (Frank Sinatra, 1961, re-recording of 1946 version)
  • Come Outside (Mike Sarne & Wendy Richard, 1962)
  • Cowboy Jimmy Joe (Alma Cogan, 1961)

D

  • Da Doo Ron Ron (The Crystals, 1963)
  • Dang Me (Roger Miller, 1964)
  • Dedicated Follower of Fashion (The Kinks, 1966)
  • Delilah (Tom Jones, 1967)
  • Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead (The Fifth Estate, 1967)
  • D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Tammy Wynette, 1968) (Billy Connolly also had a hit with a parody on Tammy’s song)
  • Do the Funky Chicken (Rufus Thomas, 1969)
  • Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight? (Lonnie Donegan, 1961)
  • Do Wah Diddy Diddy (Manfred Mann, 1964)
  • Dominique (The Singing Nun, 1963)
  • Donald, Where’s Your Troosers? (Andy Stewart and the White Heather Group, 1961)
  • There is a mountain (Donovan, ?1967)
  • Don’t Jump Off the Roof, Dad (Tommy Cooper, 1961)
  • Don’t Let the Rain Come Down (“Crooked Little Man”) (The Serendipity Singers, 1964)
  • Don’t Stop the Carnival (Alan Price, 1968)
  • Down Came the Rain (Mitch Murray, 1965)

E, F

G

  • Get an Ugly Girl to Marry You (The Coasters, 1965?)
  • Gitarzan (Ray Stevens, 1969)
  • Going to the Zoo (Julie Felix, 1960s)
  • Good Timin’ (“A-tick-a-tick-a-tick-a-tick”) (Jimmy Jones, 1960)
  • Goodbye (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, 1965)
  • Goodness Gracious Me (“O doctor, I’m in trouble”) (Sophia Loren & Peter Sellers, 1960)
  • Gossip Calypso (Bernard Cribbins, 1962)
  • Green, Green Grass of Home (Tom Jones, 1966)
  • Green Street Green (The New Vaudeville Band, 1967)

H

I

J, K

L

  • Lah de Dah (Jake Thackray, 1967)
  • The Little Old Lady From Pasadena (The Beach Boys, 1964)
  • Leader of the Pack (Shangri-Las, 1964)
  • Leader of the Laundromat (The Detergents, 1965) (re-work of “Leader of the Pack”)
  • Let It Out (“Let it all hang out”) (Hombres, 1967)
  • Let’s Think about Living (Bob Luman, 1960)
  • Let’s Turkey Trot (Little Eva, 1963)
  • Lily the Pink (The Scaffold, 1968)
  • Little Arrows (Leapy Lee, 1968)
  • Little Boxes (Peter Seeger, 1963)
  • Little Egypt (The Coasters. 1961)
  • Little Old Man (“Uptight – Everything’s Alright”) (Bill Cosby, 1967)
  • The Locomotion (Little Eva, 1962)
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles, 1967)
  • The Lumberjack Song (Monty Python, 1969)

M

N, O

P, Q

R

S

T

  • Tallahassee Lassie (Danny & The Juniors, 1962)
  • Tell Laura I Love Her (Ricky Valance, 1960)
  • Thank U Very Much (The Scaffold, 1960s)
  • There’s a Hole in the Bucket (Harry Belafonte & Odetta, 1960)
  • These Boots are Made for Walking (Nancy Sinatra, 1966)
  • They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (Napoleon XIV, aka Jerry Samuels, 1966)
  • Things (“Things like a walk in the park”) (Bobby Darin, 1965?)
  • Three Wheels on My Wagon (The New Christy Minstrels, 1965)
  • Tiptoe Through the Tulips (Tiny Tim, 1968)
  • Transistor Radio (Benny Hill, 1961)
  • The Twist (“Let’s twist again”) (Chubby Chekker, 1960)

U, V

  • Up, Up and Away (The 5th Dimension, 1967)
  • Vacation (Connie Francis, 1962)

W

X, Y, Z

1970s

A, B

C

D, E, F

G, H, I

J, K, L

M, N, O

  • Mama Weer all Crazee Now (Slade, 1972)
  • Manchester United (The Manchester United Football Team, 1976)
  • Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs (Lowry) (Brian & Michael, 1977)
  • Mouldy Old Dough (Lieutenant Pigeon, 1972)
  • Mr Jaws (Dickie Goodman, 1975)
  • Muskrat Love (Captain and Tennille, 1976)
  • My Ding-A-Ling (Chuck Berry, 1972)
  • My Friend Stan (Slade, 1973)
  • My Garden of Love (Benny Hill, 1970s)
  • My Girl Bill (Jim Stafford, 1974)
  • Nagbomba Si Candida (D’ Big 3 Sullivans, 1970)
  • Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face (The Monks, 1979)
  • Oops Upside Your Head (The Gap Band, 1979)

P, Q, R

S, T, U

  • Sarah (Art & Dotty Todd, 197?)
  • School’s Out (“No more pencils, no more books”) (Alice Cooper, 1972)
  • Shaddap You Face (Joe Dolce, 1979?)
  • Short People (Randy Newman, 1977)
  • Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens, 1970)
  • The Streak (Ray Stevens, 1974)
  • Telephone Man (Meri Wilson, 1977)
  • Tiger Feet (Mud, 1974)
  • Troglodyte (Cave Man) (The Jimmy Castor Bunch, 1973)
  • Two Lovely Black Eyes (Herman’s Hermits, 197?)

V, W, X, Y, Z


Some novelty songs did not make the charts, but were still well known, e.g.

  • Flash Bang Wallop (Tommy Steele, 1963)
  • Give Me Back my Gabardine Mac (Bernard Cribbins, 1960s)
  • I’m Backing Britain (Bruce Forsyth, 1967)
  • I’m Shy, Mary Ellen, I’m Shy (Stanley Holloway in 1962 after Jack Pleasants in 1912)
  • The Last Cigarette/The Tobacco Song (Sheila Hancock, 196?, originally sung by Miriam Karlin)
  • Let’s All Go Down the Strand (Stanley Holloway, 1962)
  • Mexican Hat Dance (Allan Sherman, 1963)
  • My Word, You Do Look Queer (Stanley Holloway, 1960, but originally recorded by him in 1938)
  • Pheasant Plucker’s Son (Bill Maynard, 1975)

Hit songs from some well-known and often viewed musicals, films and cartoons are omitted, e.g. Chim-chiminee, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, Fortuosity, When I see an elephant fly, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Religious songs and spirituals such as “Amazing Grace“, “Little Drummer Boy“, “Mary’s Boy Child“, “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain” not included.

Flanders & Swann: omitted, as too many, and mostly connected with stage musicals. The following, however, deserve a mention, as they were very well known: “The Gasman Cometh“, “The Hippopotamus“, “I’m a Gnu”, and the paean to the London omnibus, “A Transport of Delight” (1957).

There were many other well-known odd songs in the 1950s and 1960s that did not make the charts, such as “Frankfurter Sandwiches”.

Other songs surviving into the Fifties and Sixties

The following songs pre-date the British charts, but continued to be very well known:

 

© Stephanie Jenkins and Joan Williams

 

Last updated: 11 December, 2017