7 July 2008

Serendipity Singers - Beans In My Ears


Label: Phillips
Year of Release: 1964

When the team behind "Spinal Tap" put out "A Mighty Wind", critics were very quick to pick up on why it was a less effective piece of work. Whereas Tap seemed to be partly about pricking the pretentions of every wannabe rock genius, and highlighting the hidden absurdity behind the seriousness of many a "spokesperson for a generation", Wind picked a humble, earthy target that didn't really make bold claims for itself in the first place. Plenty of the lighter, less politically orientated Greenwich Village folk artists of the sixties knew damn well they were slightly preposterous anyway.

I mean, how else do you explain this?. Describing the song before you download the MP3 would ruin the surprise and also partly the charm of the thing - although suffice to say it does find a way of becoming more lyrically absurd than even its title would suggest. Clearly aimed at the children's market, "Beans In My Ears" nonetheless caused me to nearly fall off my chair laughing the first time I heard it (which possibly explains a lot about my mental age). It's a triple whammy of syrupy close harmonies, endless repetition of ridiculous lyrical ideas, and also a little bit of light comedy gold.

If we really needed more proof that it's not just the British who pounce upon eccentric novelty records, this entered the Top 30 in the USA quite comfortably, although it failed to chart over here. Clearly we were having a taste lapse in its week of release on Philips.

Sorry for not being able to find a photograph or a scan of the sleeve or label for this one, by the way... Apologies also to anybody who thought this might be some sort of psychedelic Captain Beefheart-inspired track, although a Beefheart cover of this would surely make some sort of peculiar sense.


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