Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Tuneage
The Kingsmen - "The Jolly Green Giant"

Kingsmen fans of the "their earlier stuff was sooo much better" ilk probably don't favor this one as it was recorded after original vocalist Jack Ely - the same dude who tried to start singing a verse too early in their classic "Louie Louie" - was forced out of the band by the drummer's mom (I'm not making this up) in a contentious power move.

Kingsmen purists also probably say: "This song is sooo commercial." Well yeah duh, it's dang close to being a commericial for Green Giant products, with one of the band members shouting "artichoke hearts!" and "brussel sprouts!" during the song. "Eat your vegetables from a company based in a valley in southwestern Minnesota" may be a weird subtext coming from a Portland band, but the commercialization was just a cover for the real purpose of this tune: A sly comment on race relations in America, 1964. Some gal wouldn't date the Green Giant. Because he was too tall? No, the gal was an Amazon. She thought he was disgusting because he was the wrong color. Booooo.