Monkeying around with pop songs

Jul 19, 2012

We actually have a lot in common with Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Apes. Seems we share 96 percent of the same DNA. But it also turns out that we share 50% of the same DNA as a banana, which actually may explain why we all like them so much.

So it’s only natural that we should find a bunch (haha) of songs about the furry critters, starting with this one from 1965, featuring Annette Funicello with The Beach Boys  singing “The Monkey’s Uncle”:

Major Lance went to school in Chicago with Curtis Mayfield, who wrote the hit song “Monkey Time” for him in 1963. The dance moves in this film clip were surely an inspiration to a young Michael Jackson:

This song has the strongest legacy of the batch; a million seller, it’s been quoted by Tom Waits, Radiohead and Afrika Bambaata, not to mention the highest compliment of all: being used in a Volkswagen commercial. The song, originally called “Little Rubber Dolly”, came from a 1930’s group called the Light Crust Doughboys. This is Shirley Ellis from 1965 with “The Clapping Song”: