Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Playlist for Fish Nerds, by #TeamFish and Don Orth

Everyone has there own favorite playlist.  Recently I encountered themed playlists, such as this one for soil biodiversity, which included one of my favorites Another One Bites the Dust by Queen and some lame tunes about trees, centipedes, nematodes, worms, and dirt.  There is another one on groundwater with songs I found more inspiring, such as Foo fighters I am a river.  #TeamFish began tweeting about favorite fish songs and I post some here for those who do not already have a personalized playlist of fish songs. 

Fish do make sounds but no one has yet created a playlist of fish sounds.  Imagine creating an entire album from fish sounds.  Douglas Long in deepseanews.com imagined fish music, such as Trumpetfish Jazz Hits the Swinging Strings of the Fiddler Ray or Soothing Sounds of the Cornetfish. 

An imagined album by the Cornetfish.  Source
But there are many songs that could be in your fishy playlist.  If you are teaching kids about fishes and want a sing-a-long, you'll want to learn Tom Rush's The Fish Story Song, Have You Ever Done a Fishin', or Laurie Berner Band's The Goldfish.   Who can forget Three Little Fishes, a song that was immensely popular in the swing era.  Even millennials will remember the Muppets version.

"Swim" said the mama fishie, "Swim if you can"
And they swam and they swam all over the dam.

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
And they swam and they swam all over the dam

There is Ichthyology by Tickle Tune Typhoon and Dennis Westphall (1993), which begins with "Ichthyology, now that's a fish study."  It needs an update as the final verse is inaccurate: "Over twenty one thousand species of fishes, Ichthyology."  Then there is Sharon, Lois, and Bram Three Little Fishes and  It's a fish.  Everyone likes a good parody song and we have Like a Sturgeon by Madonna and Know All The Fish.  The parody on Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" is about a fish, a bass.   In All About That Bass  the soloist sings "He says boys at the bar like to make up a source of lies. You know I don't need no speedboat to be voted the best of them all." 

Everyone needs that  infamous fish nerd classic, Fish heads, as well as the upbeat Under the SeaBobby Rydell recorded Do The Fish  in 1961.  Two songs most covered in mid 20th century have to be Two Many Fish in the Sea and Three Little Fishes.  You will have many choices for your playlist.  Smoothies recorded this back in 1939.  But you can also find versions by Buzz CliffordThe Andrew SistersSpike Jones and the City Slickers, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and The Marvelettes.   

Perhaps the most covered fish song is Three Little Fishes    
Four Tops made Catfish  a popular tune in 1976.  Remember?

She was a disco queen
She came from New Orleans
Catfish was her name
Dancin' was her claim to fame
And Heart made the Barracuda famous in 1977 with its famous guitar beat and Rock goddess Ann Wilson's voice. "You lying so low in the weeds. Bet you gonna ambush me. You'd have me down, down, down to my knees. Wouldn't you, Barracuda?"  The chorus for Ray Stevens Too Drunk To Fish provides some honest advice for all:  

Oh, never go fishin' with a man who has been drinkin'
Cause things just might not work out like you'd wish
Just leave that fool at home to drink
He'll be just as happy fishin' in the kitchen sink
Don't go near the water with a man too drunk to fish
Somecards.com.  Source 
There are many songs with Shark lyrics. Mack the Knife, by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht (1928), sung by Bobby Darin, is probably the most famous.   Jimmy Buffett - Fins (1979) is also a great tune "Can't you feel 'em circlin', honey? Can't you feel 'em schoolin' around? You got fins to the left, fins to the right, And you're the only bait in town."    Many other ominous tunes accompany shark documentaries and influence or feelings toward sharks.  I will not list all these here, but a recent study does connect to scary music to our human response  There are other shark songs to consider: 
It appears that country music seems to have the most songs about fish and fishing:
The Chorus of Fish showed that females love to fish too.  "Turns out my baby loves to fish, she wants to do it all the time. Early in the morning, in the middle of the night. She’s hooked and now she can’t get enough.  Man, that girl sure loves to fish. Yeah, I know she loves to fish.  Psst, you awake, let’s fish." Fish and fishing are great subjects for musicians. We hope that more songs are forthcoming. We note the dearth of lyrics about perch, trout, gunnels, flounder, sculpins, stargazers, and eels.

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