We are introducing a new feature on our page where we will feature one super-geeky song each day. These will range from classics going back a few decades to new releases and range from platinum selling megastars to unknown YouTube wannabes. Sit back and enjoy the pure geekiness of it.
January 9: In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
<a href="Watch the lyric video of In the Year 2525 here
We’re going old school today for our first Geeky Song of the Day for 2017. In 1968 Zager and Evans released a one hit wonder which had such a lasting impact, Wikipedia knows of at least 60 cover versions in seven languages. These include versions by New Romantic act Visage, goth rockers Fields of the Nephilim and ex-Stone Roses singer Ian Brown.
It’s been used in scenes from Alien 3, Futurama and the short-lived sci-fi series Cleopatra 2525.
A sort of sci-fi time travel moral tale, the song looks towards the future in leaps of 1010 years, telling how humankind’s quest for technological, medical and other scientific advances eventually will destroy our species.
Considered very futuristic at the time, many of the advances mentioned including those relating to test tube babies have already occurred in a much shorter time frame.
Nonetheless the song remains a classic and it’s probably just a mater of time (pun intended) before another cover version hits the charts.
December 21: I Want an Alien for Christmas by Fountains of Wayne
<a href="Watch the lyric video of I Want an Alien for Christmas here
American alternative rock band Fountains of Wayne are best remembered for their 2003 smash hit Stacy’s Mom, but also had minor hits with Radiation Vibe and Sink to the Bottom.
In 1997 they released a fun little Christmas song called I Want an Alien for Christmas.
Apparently they wanted “a green guy about three feet high with 17 eyes who knows how to fly”.
While not a big hit internationally, it did reach #36 in the UK charts.
The group split up in 2013, so we’re unlikely to hear any new songs from the again, so let’s enjoy their back catalogue and keep a watch out for aliens in our Christmas stockings.
December 20: Spider Pig as sung by the Sweet Home Symphonic Choir
Watch Spider Pig here
Homer Simpson’s Spider Pig song from The Simpsons Movie may last less than a minute but it’s become a cult classic. The Hans Zimmer arrangement was a minor hit on some countries’ charts and there was even a techno remix released.
But this version is definitely different: The Sweet Home Symphonic Choir from Oregon took the version which appears during the film’s end credits and adapted it into their own choral style.
It’s kind of like Pitch Perfect meets Homer Simpson.
If you’re a Simpson fan, you’re gonna love it.
December 19: Turtle Power by Partners in Kryme
Watch Turtle Power here
When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first became popular in the early ’90s, rap group Partners in Kryme capitalised on the phenomenon, notching up a UK number one hit with Turtle Power, which was also used in the Turtles’ movie.
Its members were James Alpern and Richard Usher, under the stage names DJ Keymaster Snow and MC Golden Voice.
They are considered a one-hit wonder, but did release a second single in 1990 called Undercover and (unsuccessfully) attempted a comeback in 2015 with Rock the Halfshell.
While Turtle Power is a fun dance/rap song for turtle enthusiasts, its lyrics do contain at least one error, referring to Raphael instead of Leonardo as the leader of the group. But due to the catchiness of the chorus, we’ll forgive them.
December 17: Do the Hippogriff by The Weird Sisters
Watch Do the Hippogriff here
The Yule Ball is a crucial scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, particularly in terms of the long-term relationship between Hermione and Ron, so much so that it’s referred to in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a turning point which affects the future of the wizarding world.
But it’s also a fun scene, particularly for the introduction of the rock band The Weird Sisters and their song, Do the Hippogriff.
The musicians hired to play/record the song for the movie can genuinely be described as a supergroup along the lines of Crosby, Stills and Nash or the Travelling Wilburys.
Jarvis Cocker from Pulp sings lead vocals and Pulp bassist Steve Mackey is also in the group, along with three members of Radiohead, Jason Buckle from All Seeing I and Steve Claydon from Add N to X.
It’s a ridiculous novelty song with daft lyrics, but Harry Potter fans won’t mind. Just jump into the magical moshpit and dance like a hippogriff!
December 16: Doctorin’ the Tardis by The Timelords
Watch Doctorin’ the Tardis here
A lot of really strange songs have reached number 1 in the UK over the years … The Wombles, Mr Blobby, The Teletubbies, Justin Bieber. But there’s possibly no chart topper as weird as Doctorin’ the Tardis, a 1988 song credited to The Timelords.
It samples the Doctor Who theme as well as a number of ’70s hits by Gary Glitter, Sweet and Steve Walsh and then pretends the whole thing is performed by a car.
The band members are listed as Time Boy and Lord Rock, but are actually South African-born musician Bill Drummond and his partner in musical crime, Jimmy Cauty, who together would go on to form the Justified Ancients of Mumu and later have smash hits like Justified and Ancient and 3am Eternal, as the KLF.
Doctorin’ the Tardis may have been panned by critics when it was released, but was a worldwide smash and the duo releasing a book called The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way).
If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’ll love it.
December 15: Super Mario Land by Ambassadors of Funk featuring MC Mario
Watch Super Mario Land here
In the early days of video games, you had a very limited amount of memory which would be allocated to the in-game music, meaning you usually got one basic melody which would repeat over and over again until it drove you insane.
In the early ’90s a few dance music acts realised the hit-potential of sampling these catchy tunes and turning them into hits.
Doctor Spin’s Eurodance take on the Tetris theme reached number six in the UK charts in 1992, but today we look at Ambassadors of Funk featuring MC Mario, with their number 8 hit Super Mario Land.
The musical “genius” behind the track was Simon Harris, a well-respected music producer for the likes of Michael and Janet Jackson, who assumed a non de plum for releasing video game related records, including a remix of the Street Fighter 2 theme.
The rapper on the song, although credited as MC Mario, usually raps under the name Einstein, and has appeared on relatively successful songs by Snap and Technotronic.
Take a listen. I guarantee you, you will be whistling it a few hours from now.
December 14: White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic
Watch White and Nerdy here
Spoiler alert: The longer we run this Geeky Song of the Day feature, the more Weird Al Yankovic I will include!
The master of the song parody (who also writes some pretty awesome originals), has released many geek-worthy songs, particularly songs about Star Wars such as The Saga Begins and Yoda. But if you want one song to sum up all of geeky culture, White and Nerdy is it.
The song is a parody of Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ Dirty, and became Yankovic’s first ever top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 9 in 2006.
The song makes references to playing Dungeons and Dragons, editing Wikipedia, collecting action figures, attending Renaissance fairs in cosplay and being fluent in Java Script and Klingon, among other geeky activities.
And if you’ve only heard Yankovic do Madonna and Michael Jackson parodies and are worried about whether he can match the “flow” of a rap artist, don’t be. Before releasing this one, he’d already proven he could rap on his MC Hammer parody I Can’t Watch This and his Coolio track, Amish Paradise.
December 13: Space Oddity by David Bowie
Watch Space Oddity here
It would be difficult to think of any other fictional character created specifically for a song who has gone on to feature in as many other songs as Major Tom has. The astronaut debuted in David Bowie’s 1969 classic sci-fi tragedy Space Oddity.
The song’s ending could have been interpreted in different ways but it was generally accepted that the title character was doomed to die in space having lost contact with ground control.
But not only did Bowie rerecord the song in the mid-70s, he also resurrected him in 1980’s Ashes to Ashes, the Pet Shop Boys remix of his song Hallo Spaceboy and the video of 2015’s Blackstar.
But Bowie wasn’t the only singer to chronicle the space explorer’s cosmic adventures. In 1983 Peter Schilling had a smash hit with Major Tom (Coming Home) which ends with the people of earth mourning Tom not realising he was still alive.
In 2002 KIA brought out a song called Mrs Major Tom, telling the story from his wife’s perspective.
Others to reference him in song include Flight of the Conchords, Five Star, Def Leppard, Marilyn Manson, the Mars Volta and, bizarrely, William Shatner.
The actor best known for playing Captain Kirk released a 2013 album called Seeking Major Tom which continued Bowie’s story, adding to Tom’s seemingly never-ending journey through popular music.
(Thanks to Wikipedia for much of the information)
December 10: Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by Spin Doctors
It’s terrible being in the friend zone when the object of your affections is dating a super hero, just ask Jimmy Olsen who, according to the lyrics of this song, has a “pocketful of Kryptonite” and a longing for Lois Lane.
Many people think of the Spin Doctors as a one hit wonder, as Two Princes is the only one of their songs that gets played on oldies channels. But they had other hits like Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong and Cleopatra’s Cat. Jimmy Olsen’s Blues did reach number 40 in the UK, number 78 in the US in 1993 and was a popular radio hit here in South Africa.
It’s geeky lyrics and catchy guitar riffs make it an ideal pick for today’s Geeky Song of the Day.
December 9: Star Trekkin’ by The Firm
Yesterday we featured Star Wars so today we have to cater to the Trekkies.
Star Trekkin‘ was a 1987 novelty record by The Firm. The song reached number 1 in the UK within four weeks of its release, knocking Whitney Houston off the top spot. What position it reached on the Vulcan, Romulan and Klingon charts is not known!
The song’s structure is much like a nursery rhyme, with five catch phrase each attributed to a member of the bridge crew, with one new line added to the existing ones each time it is sung.
The music video features stop-motion clay animation and the voices are imitations, not the original actors.
But it’s the kind of song that once you’ve heard it will remain stuck in your head for weeks. You have been warned!
Watch it here: Seagulls (Stop it now!)
December 8: Seagulls (Stop it now!) by Bad Lip Reading
Bad Lip Reading is a YouTube phenomenon, taking scenes from famous movies and TV series including Hunger Games, The Avengers and even WWE and American Idol, and completely changing the words of the scenes. They are hilarious to watch, but the most enjoyable are their songs. Here the famous scene of Yoda training Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi is reinterpreted as a song about being tormented by seagulls. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re gonna love it.