JOEphie's Choice: The JOE Team pick their favourite songs from The Simpsons
The songs that give us that bounce in our step and load us with pep...
It's certainly no secret that the team here at JOE HQ are big fans of The Simpsons and we most certainly do not need a second invitation to write about anything Simpsons-related.
And so, having already brought you our favourite ever episodes, our favourite one-off characters from the show, our most treasured Treehouse Of Horror episodes and our completely non-tenuously linked Mayor Quimby/JFK Anniversary special, we felt that it was about time that the JOE Team definitively brought you our favourite ever songs from The Simpsons.
Because everything sounds better in song form of course.
Aside from having one of the most recognisable TV theme tunes ever written, The Simpsons used genius parodies, original songs and jingles to brighten up and better many episodes with their own unique brand of brilliant songwriting and so, although it was a daunting task indeed, here is our JOEphie's Choice of songs in the key of Springfield, and we more than welcome your own personal choices in the comment box below.
The Monorail Song – Eoghan Doherty
I'll just tell you my choice and you'll vote for it. It's a scientific fact that no one can resist the allure of the contagious Monorail Song. You know how it goes... Monorail. Monorail. Monorail. Monorail.
You joined in, right? With the soft, rhythmic, cult-like chanting? By gum, we knew you would. That's because there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car Monorail... song.
Perfectly performed by legendary one-off character and conniving conman Lyle Lanley (Phil Hartman), the Monrail Song convinced the good people of Springfield to part with their precious savings to purchase the town its very first (and last) faulty, overpriced Monorail system.
Baby On Board – Conor Heneghan
The B-Sharps were responsible for some great songs – Goodbye My Coney Island Baby, for example – and some not so great songs – the one about Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and the latest medical poop – but by far their most memorable number, and deservedly so, was the incredibly catchy and incredibly popular ‘Baby on Board’.
Inspired by a car bumper sticker and tipped to go all the way to number one by the band’s enthusiastic management company (Management by Nigel) the song famously wrote itself after Homer came up with the opening line and then proceeded to display the musical talents that had convinced Nigel to try and name the band ‘Handsome Homer Simpson plus three’ at the very beginning.
Written at the peak of the band’s powers, it was enough to make Grampa proud of his son (‘Who, the balding fat ass?’ ‘No, the, eh, Hindu guy’) and is best listened to while eating a brownie in front of George Harrison and sipping a nice cocktail of a single plum floating in perfume served in a man's hat.
The Stonecutters Song - Tony Cuddihy
It was a close call between this and 'We Put The Spring In Springfield,' but 'The Stonecutters Song' wins out for bringing Steve Guttenberg back into the public realm and the fact that it's like a jaunty version of 'Eyes Wide Shut.'
Extra points as well for rigging the Oscars, which we all knew anyway, right?
And that's about it, really. It's a short enough number in a classic episode, in which Homer joins the Springfield version of the Freemasons after discovering that Lenny and Carl get free soft drinks, massage chairs and top of the line parking positions at work.
Also, there's nudity. Granted, it's Homer-brand nudity as he drags the 'stone of shame' home, but nudity nevertheless.
I'll get my coat.
Talkin' Softball – Adrián Collins
'Well Mr. Burns had done it, the Power Plant had won it'... Taking the strange and bizarre nature of the lyrics out of the equation for the moment, the song itself is truly brilliant and a very catchy number. You would be humming along if you weren't singing the song word for word, which we know you all do.
It's one of the earliest songs on the list, and the episode it comes from is timeless, even if it is filled with references to baseball players from the early 1990s. The song commemorates the age-old tradition of bringing in a bunch of ringers to win a meaningless sports game between two companies and Mr. Burns really pushed the boat out on that front.
What we love most about the song is that it reminds us of the episode and a few of the more brilliant moments in what was a surreal epsiode. Ken Griffey gets addicted to some weird medicine (nerve tonic) and his head swells, Steve Sax is charged with every unsolved murder in New York City, and of course, Mr. Burns and his signals from the sideline. Now for the last time, cut those sideburns!
Canyonero – Oisin Collins
Being the motors guy here in JOE, there was really only one Simpsons song that I could pick and that’s the hilarious Canyonero theme tune. The Sports Utility Vehicle is endorsed by Krusty the Clown in the season nine episode, “The Last Temptation of Krust”, which first aired back in February 1998.
But we see the Canyonero again in the season 10 episode "Marge Simpson in: ‘Screaming Yellow Honkers’" when Homer buys a Series ‘F’ Canyonero, but he refuses to drive the SUV as ‘F’ stands for ‘Female’.
While both episodes are pretty funny in their own right, it’s the Canyonero’s theme tune that we’re interested in. So without further ado, here’s a look at the hilarious lyrics that bring a smile to our face every time we hear them. Don’t forget to add in your own whip-cracking noise…
Can you name the truck with four-wheel drive, Smells like a steak, and seats thirty five?
Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down, It's the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown,
12 yards long, 2 lanes wide, 65 tons of American pride!
Top of the line in utility sports, Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!
She blinds everybody with her super high beams, She's a squirrel-squashin', deer-smackin' drivin' machine,
Canyonero! Canyonero! Canyonero! Whoa, Canyonero! Whoooooaaa!
Doctor Zaius – Eric Lalor
Dr Zaius’ from the Simpson’s Planet of the Apes – The Musical episode is my favourite Simpsons song. A parody of the 80s classic from Austrian nutjob Falco entitled ‘Rock Me Amadeus’, it’s an infectious tune. I love the start when the apes realise Dr Zauis can talk, ‘He can talk!’ quickly followed by the Doctor’s retort, ‘I Can Sing!’ and then bang, the song starts. The song itself is repetitive and not lyric-laden, but it's catchy and any spoof song from a spoof musical involving spoof people has to be a good thing
Troy McClure plays Dr Zaius in Planet of the Apes - The Musical and he is one of my favourite Simpsons characters so any excuse to mention this chap is okay by me. When he's told by his agent that he's won the part of 'the human' in the musical, he delightfully replies 'It's the part I was born to play!'
You're Checkin’ In - Peter Cooney
From the brilliant episode ‘The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson,’ Marge, Lisa and Bart hear ‘You’re Checkin’ In’ on a visit to Broadway while Homer is waiting for his car to be unclamped and trying not to get his wallet stolen again by one of the numerous untrustworthy characters in the Big Apple.
Taken from the musical ‘Kickin’ It: A Musical Journey through the Betty Ford Center,’ the song pokes fun at the numerous celebrities who have been through the doors of the famous rehabilitation centre, most notably Robert Downey Jr – who was in a pretty bad place at the time of the episode – and Liza Minnelli.
The song itself won multiple awards at the time and the episode is still remembered as one of the all-time greats. Now all that typing has put me in the mood for a lovely krav kalash.