Six fantastically annoying songs from the 1960s

Do you have that terrible earworm that you can't stop hearing?
Pop Group Herman's Hermits
Pop Group Herman's Hermits / Hulton Deutsch/GettyImages

Back in the Sixties, the Internet was still only a figment of the imagination. To find new songs you still needed to listen to your favorite radio station (or stations). Or possibly stumble upon a record in your local mom-and-pop record store.

With all those good and our favorite songs we still remember from some sixty years or so, there was probably a lot of drivel we were lucky we avoided. These days, you would have to search for these to find them out. (Hint: You probably shouldn't want to.)

Yet, there were quite a few of those annoying songs that did reach a wider audience, Six of them are as follows.

Six ridiculously annoying songs from the 1960s

Peter, Paul & Mary - “Puff The Magic Dragon” (1962)

Peter, Paul & Mary were one of the biggest names within the sixties folk revival all the way back from the early sixties, and surely have quite a few songs and albums that deserve the ears of all folk and music fans in general.

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This one is not among those. Peter (Yarrow) of the trio is one of the two guilty parties for composing this one. Maybe it was supposed to be a children’s folk song, but it didn’t work on that level either.

Alfred E. Newman - “It’s a Gas”  (1963)

Mad magazine and its sense of humor were initially mainly geared towards kids and teenagers, starting all the way back in the early fifties, and reaching its heights in the sixties. And like any humor, the one MAD magazine presented can consist of good and bad jokes. This “song,” consisting of constant belching over an equally trashy instrumental backing might have been intended to sound bad, but it went over the top in a flash.

Herman’s Hermits – “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (1965)

Herman’s Hermits did not include anybody named Herman in their ranks, but that didn’t stop them from creating some quite good pop rock. Those tracks still exhibit solid charm, even though the band probably didn’t get as much respect as it deserved.

Well, maybe this inane entry in their repertoire contributed to that. With its simplistic melody and lyrics. After all, who wanted to be Henry VIII anyway? Still, the song went into the charts anyway, many consider it one of the inspirations for bubblegum pop.

Napoleon XIV - “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-HAAA!” (1968)

Napoleon XIV was one Jerry Samuels who started out as a recording engineer and then turned a songwriter, even writing songs for one Sammy Davis, Jr. At some point he decided to do it all himself and be funny at the same time, recording this, not so funny thing and quite a few others like it. Weird in a wrong way, as there never was or will ever be anything funny about mental illness. Still, this one made it quite big, for some reason or other.

Bobby Goldsboro – “Honey” (1968)

It seems that 1968 was quite a productive year for annoying songs making it big, and this one was both quite annoying and surely made it big, hitting number one too. Goldsboro started out playing guitar for Roy Orbison and taking just this single into consideration, he probably should have stuck with it. A smoochy, over-sweetened ditty between country and pop it just has too much melodrama to be handled these days.

Ohio Express- “Yummy Yummy Yummy” (1968)

Probably the song (or one of the songs) that gave bubblegum pop/rock a bad name. This Mansfield Ohio band was not as bad as this song was, and stuck around well into this century.

Still, this one fits the formulaic concept of most bubblegum rock songs to a tee - inane melody combined with equally inane lyrics. It came around at the time when this sub-genre was making it big, so it reached number one with ease. Unlistenable these days.

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