Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s A SONG I HEARD TODAY: the only online music review column that supports the death penalty only in instances where people try to get me to listen to their mixtape.
It’s a new week, and a new opportunity for me to waste your time parsing lyrics of some of the worst (and possibly best?) songs of all time. Of course I had to first pick a genre because that’s how I get my music on Spotify because goddammit if I’m paying for premium I’m going to use it before it atrophies like a bad Christian Fundamentalist dick.
I wanted to go a little older on this one because songs from the ’50s and ’60s are so weird that they had to ban lead paint when those people got in charge and elected Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan twice. There was literally a song from the ’50s about a man who was taking a bath during a home invasion and people LOVED THAT SHIT! “Oh my god he’s a-splishin’ and a-splashin’! THAT’S WHAT I FUCKING DO IN THE BATH IT’S NO WONDER A SCARY CRIME PARTY BROKE OUT!” I was hoping that song would come on so I could use that and explain to you all the perils of being nude with strangers in your home, but I was not so lucky.
The song I did end up choosing ended up sneaking into the oldies station from the MOTHERFUCKING ’70s. I was about to call Spotify and revoke my membership because that is NOT what I was asking for. Luckily for me though, this sneaky 1970 hit song was one that I was very familiar with. It had actually been suggested to me by a fan of the column (Shawn Carter, the only person who reads this because he HAS TO if he hopes to make a million dollars off my brand) but I couldn’t do it because that would be against the spirit of the column.
This is about a song I heard on the day that the column was written, not a song that my boss sends me because I’m bad at what I do and he needs the page views because he quit his job and has to work VFWs to keep his lights on.
Well, talk about Kismet (please, talk about it. I’ll wait.) because that song came on the damn radio today while I was trying to trick it into playing that stupid fucking bath song. Now this has me worried that my phone is spying on me and it’s just going to play the songs that are mentioned to me in messages. But then I got excited because that means it could work both ways, and if that’s the case Billy Joel should be hearing “Hit ‘Em Up” twelve times a day because he needs to realize that I. DO. NOT. FUCK. AROUND. I SEE YOU PIANO MAN!
So, this week’s song? It is the 1970 classic Mungo Jerry- In the Summertime.
I know. I’m as scared as you are. It’s already weird so let’s roll with this.
The artist, for this particular song, the person/peoples call themselves Mungo Jerry. Now, this might seem like a really fucking stupid name for a band. Or a solo artist. Maybe it’s a good nickname for a friend named Jerry that you kind of hate and has a stupid face and always listens to baseball games on his AM/FM Walkman. HOWEVER, since I am a pretentious shithead, I know that it is a T.S. Eliot reference. So maybe this is a band full of pretentious shitheads who have decided to reach into the realm of songs about the summer, like such luminaries as The Beach Boys, The Who, Will Smith, and anybody else who has been outside have considered. Also, every single one of them has facial hair that makes Williamsburg look like Paris Island.
The song itself, upon first listen, is about the summertime. And what to do when the weather is hot. Maybe they will enlighten us all because usually when the weather gets hot I just lay in the street and wait for the garbage men to take me away with the dirty gross diaper trash. Let’s get into some lyrics.
In the summertime when the weather is hot/You can stretch right up and touch the sky
Okay Mungo, this is your first mistake. If the weather is hot why would you try to touch the sky? That’s where the sun lives you idiot! “God it’s so fucking hot I wish I could touch the damn thing that is currently making my life miserable.” NO MUNGO. Hot water burn baby.
When the weather’s fine/You got women you got women on your mind
“We only fuck when it’s hot out because our cold dicks are what turns the sky grey.”
Have a drink have a drive/Go out and see what you can find
They just flat out advocated drunk driving and just looking around. Sure, if you have to drunk drive to get home from a casino or because you have previously lost your license for drunk driving, that’s a different story. But seriously, you can just find shit in your fucking apartment. What are you going to find out on the road while you’re driving drunk for no reason? Dead kids is what. Mungo Jerry has probably murdered more children than Mungo Jenny McCarthy.
If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal/If her daddy’s poor you can do what you feel
Okay gross. This whole “feed the rich girls, fuck the poor girls” attitude disgusts me. Obviously, the rich girls have milk-fed flesh like veal. Why not feed the rich girls to the poor girls? THEN do what you feel (I’m assuming that is sex but you better be taking into account what she feels because while dragging the wealthy from their homes and slaughtering them like hogs is NOBLE, sexual assault is always DESPICABLE.) So, do what she feels.
Next, our old pal Mungo gives you tips on how to drive drunk. The first of which is: SPEED. Which is both my favorite snack and the least likely way to not get yourself pulled over while driving drunk. You could be drunk and picking your nose with a dead California Condor as long as you’re going the speed limit and maybe flash some nipple at the cop who totally isn’t gay but maybe sometimes he just thinks about how strong a man would be in his arms. Anyway, don’t speed when you’re drunk.
We’re no threat people/We’re not dirty we’re not mean
This sounds exactly like what some dirty, mean, threatening people would say.
We love everybody but we do as we please
“Sure people are great until they step in front of our car and we run them down and speed away.”
Okay at this point in the song they go into a weird scat type thing, the most inexplicable part of which is that for this entire song there has been a weird gentleman mouth-farting into a jug AND THEY GIVE HIM A SOLO HERE! Whoever okayed the mouth-fart jug solo probably thought it was the next big thing, and soon ALL THE BANDS would be spitting and blowing into filthy glass jugs and he would become a beloved king in the music world. Instead he was probably killed because this is very bad.
When the winter’s here/Yeah it’s party time/Bring your bottle/Wear your bright clothes/It’ll soon be summertime
Oh okay, so there is literally no difference between what you do in the winter and what you do in the summer. WHY DID YOU EVEN SING THE SONG THEN???
Why not sing a song called “Drunk in the Car” because it sounds like that’s your eternal state of being. Sure, there is that one line about swimming and fishing, but the only two other activities he even mentions are driving drunk and trying to get rich women to pay for his meals. Those are NOT summertime specific activities.
“In the summertime we drink and drive but we’ll be wearing different clothes.” This is the most pointless song ever and I think that’s because they wrote the whole thing an excuse for a goddamned mouth-fart jug solo.
I give this song an F.
…because of its irresponsible messages and the fact that there are much better summertime songs about things that actually happen in the summer and not just about dudes with bad facial hair who do the same things all the time but it happens to be warmer outside so they decide to make air temperature the reference point for what essentially amounts to a felonious confession.
Also, THAT FUCKING JUG! FUCK!!!