Tuesday, June 03, 2014

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 3: A Song That Makes You Laugh

There's a world of difference between something that's funny and something that makes you laugh.  Over the past decade or so, the real magnitude of that difference has been lost, what with all the ubiquitous lol's (and "lol"-variants) showing up in our texts, Facebook feeds and Twitter pages. The truth is, it's really not that easy to make someone laugh out loud, or to find something that makes you laugh out loud.  Of course, that's why we use "lol" as shorthand for something that we mean to indicate as really funny, though whatever we're referencing is hardly ever so funny as to earn that indication.

Today's pick wasn't hard for me.  I really did laugh out loud the first time I heard this song.  It still makes me laugh out loud from time to time, though (as with all jokes) once the element of surprise is removed, the intensity of the humor is somewhat diminished.  Unlike a straightforward set-up-and-punchline joke, though, this song is an example of a funny story, told funnily.  A funny story may make you laugh out loud the first time you hear it, just like a joke you've never heard would, but a story told funnily can make you laugh out loud over and over again.  My grandfather was a person who could tell stories like that.  It's a gift, really.

Anyway, here's my pick, the classic David Allen Coe song "You Never Even Called Me By My Name."  (Even the title of the song is funny, though not lolz-funny.) I won't preface it with too much explanation, except to say that you have to listen to it all the way through.  It just gets better and better.

David Allen Coe is not what I would call the most endearing person in the world, but there is something particularly endearing about this song.  He pokes fun at his own genre (country music), imitates the greats of his genre (Jennings, Pride, Haggard) with a good-hearted mimicry, fully lampoons the well-worn tropes of country music (Mama, trains, trucks, prison, getting drunk), all with a wink and a smile and a "c'mon, we all know it's true."  It's also an impressively structured, extended joke that just build and builds and delivers perfectly in the end.

Yeah, I lol'd.

Here's your quick-access link to the entire 30 Day Song Challenge 2014 prompt-list and my picks for each day.


bzfgt said...

Written by John Prine and Steve Goodman.

Leigh Johnson said...

Thanks @bzfgt! I should have mentioned that!