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10 Best ORIGINAL Songs by Weird Al Yankovic
Words AND Music by Al Yankovic
These are my favorite Weird Al songs that are completely original.
Al is famous for his terrific song parodies, using someone else's song as a starting point and writing hilarious (and also artfully crafted) lyrics to their music. But he has a great gift for writing music of his own as well, in a variety of styles.
Here's a top 10 list of songs Al has written from no other inspiration but his own.
The 10 Best Original Songs by "Weird Al" Yankovic
in alphabetical order
"I, man, am Regal, a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi"
Yes, all the lines in this song are palindromes. There's no storyline or theme, just palindromes set to music. I love it.
The title, "Bob", is also a palindrome, of course, AND it refers to the fact that the song pays tribute to the musical (and vocal!) style of the great Bob Dylan.
Callin' In Sick
"I'm callin' in sick today
Callin' in sick today
Ain't goin' to work, no way"
This song would be a great candidate for a reverse parody. I could totally see someone doing a serious version of this one, still sticking with the theme of taking a day off from the rat race.
The instrumentals and vocals here range from feelings of gentle reflection to expressions of confident freedom, and all of it fits with the joy of having a day all to yourself.
Genius in France
"I'm not the brightest crayon in the box
Everyone says I'm dumber than a bag of rocks
I barely even know how to put on my own pants
But I'm a genius in France, genius in France, genius in France"
A masterpiece. If I had to choose one song as Al Yankovic's very best, this would be the one. Done in the style of the music of Frank Zappa (and with Frank's son Dweezil playing some guitar on the recording), the song is 9 minutes long and a delight all the way through.
The song tells the story of a man who is considered a loser by every possible standard here in America, but is inexplicably adored by everyone when he visits France. The lyrics are great. I especially love the way Al is able to rhyme both French and English words together and sound completely natural.
"I can't wait, I can't wait
When are they gonna open up that door?"
You know that feeling of tingling anticipation right before something fantastic happens that you've been waiting and waiting for? It's about that.
Only the thing that Al's character is anticipating is something that the rest of us wouldn't typically find too exciting.
My favorite thing about this song is the choral harmonies on the chorus. The rhythm of the rapid-fire lyrics in the verses is great, too.
The Night Santa Went Crazy
"The night Santa went crazy
The night St. Nick went insane
Realized he'd been gettin' a raw deal
Something finally must have snapped in his brain"
A Christmas song that asserts that one of these days Santa is going to snap under the pressure of his job and the realization of how little he gets in return.
The music goes back and forth between a Christmas-y feel (I think the instruments might be a harpsichord and a celesta) and a driving rock sound with full band.
One More Minute
"'Cause I'd rather
Eating shards of
Than spend one more minute with you"
Using a smooth '50s-doo-wop style, Al croons out the feelings of a guy who has just lost his girl and is employing masochistic-in-the-extreme imagery to show that he is really, really over her.
"I'm always thinkin' 'bout it
I don't know what I'd do without it
I love, I really love
An obvious homage to the musical style of the Beach Boys, but not the actual music to a particular song. Al uses similar angular melodies, fresh harmonies, and instrumentation that make the Beach Boys so beloved as he sings the praises of this oft-overlooked internal organ.
BTW, There have been comments made about this song from people who are Type I diabetics. They say that all of us who have a healthy, functioning pancreas should indeed be very grateful.
Since You've Been Gone
"Since you've been gone
Well I feel like I've been chewing on tin foil
Since you've been gone
It's like I've got a great big mouthful of cod liver oil"
Another punishing breakup song.
This is one of my favorite pieces of pure music by Al. The four-part harmonized a cappella vocal performance is irresistible.
Slime Creatures from Outer Space
"Things just haven't been the same
Since the flying saucers came
Now the aliens are on the loose"
I love the bass guitar groove and the vocal arrangements on this song, as well as Al's wimpy reactions to the impending destruction of life on earth. There's a theremin in it, too!
Were you keeping count?
I've only listed 9 songs!
I'll let you, dear readers, pick the 10th one. Vote for the song that you think should join this Top 10 list.
Don't see your favorite here? Add it in the suggestion box below and I'll add it to the poll.
What other original song by Weird Al Yankovic should be added to this Top 10 list?
If the song you love best isn't in the poll above, leave it in a comment, and I'll add it to the poll.
The song has to be 100% original (both words AND music by Al Yankovic).
DEBATE! Do you prefer the parody songs or the original ones?
Which are better, Weird Al's original songs or his parodies?