The mutton called. He wants his mullet back.
What could be worse than children's books written by rock stars?
Glad you asked!
Try rock songs based on children's books, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes - the sure sign that a pop singer has writers' block, a drug problem, a new child, or - most likely - all three!
Granted, there are some examples of the genre that buck the trend, like Aretha Franklin's "the House That Jack Built," but for every one of these there are three like the Castaways' "Liar Liar." Based on the "pants on fire" rhyme, the song is so bad, it must be heard to be believed (link below).
Ten of my favorite examples (links open in YouTube):
1. Paul McCartney - Mary Had a Little Lamb (see the video at the top of this post)
McCartney's first post-Beatles single was, like the lamb itself: fluffy and unwelcome at institutions of higher learning. Let it be said: the lamb has no chops.
2. Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
Turns out that the "white rabbit" in Alice in Wonderland was a heavy user of mind-altering substances.
A YouTube talkbacker helpfully explains:
"Its weird, when I watched this on weed it was a lot more interesting than when I was on LSD. Maybe cuz I was sooo much more interested in everything around me while I was on LSD and while on weed I just watched the video lmao"Thanks for the insight, @bmurder25. Ahem.
3. John Lennon - My Mummy's Dead
A short, creepy song about John's dead mother. Features the melody to Three Blind Mice.
4. Aretha Franklin - The House That Jack Built
Aretha could sing anything and it would be great - except for, maybe, Sting's gawd-awful Noah's Ark book.
5. The Castaways - Liar Liar
What could make "Liar, liar pants on fire, hanging from a telephone wire" more annoying than it already is? Cue the falsetto!
6. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - The House at Pooh Corner
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's embarrassingly sincere tribute to Winnipeg's most-famous citizen is just begging for an equally sincere cover version by the Guess Who. Get on it, boys!
7. Jethro Tull - Mother Goose
A song with a flute about Mother Goose, fairy tales, and - I'm quite sure - Vulcans, Wookiees, and Hobbits. So nerdy, it would get blushes at Comic Con.
8. The Cryan' Shames - Sugar and Spice
The rhyme about what little girls are made of comes full circle when the girl grows up (I hope) and all of the singer's friends want some paprika. Let's move on. I'm Roger Lodge.
9. Dave Matthews Band - Rapunzel
Keep those scrunchies in your hair, Rapunzel.
I firmly maintain that Dave Matthews is the Devil and his fans are the evil dead, as evidenced by the terrible faux-funk noodling in this and all of his songs.
Hell, we chucked out the Spin Doctors for lesser crimes against humanity.
10. Green Jelly - Three Little Pigs
The target audience for this song: the boneheads who live next door to me; they drink, party, and listen to metal all night long in addition to - wait for it - having a young child they're bringing up to be exactly like them.
Does the wolf make house calls?