Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Songs that Shouldn't Exist: "The Baby Song"

Flip Your Wig album cover
Today I revisited Hüsker Dü's album Flip Your Wig for the first time in a few years. I wouldn't say it's the Hüsker's best by any means, but it's still a phenomenal album. It features some of the most powerful and effective songs the group ever recorded.

It also features "The Baby Song", which is probably the most useless song that exists. It's 46 seconds of the finest liquid diarrhea pressed on wax. Let me break it down: somebody literally says "The Baby Song", then the remaining 45 seconds are two dudes just dicking around on a slide whistle and xylophone. It's the only song I've heard that's ever made me completely furious.

Listen to it:

I don't hate this track just because it's total garbage. I can tolerate much worse music. The reason I hate this so much is because it just doesn't belong anywhere near this album. A lot of the material on here is dead serious and emotionally engaging, and there's no preparation. The song immediately preceding this one is "Find Me", one of Bob Mould's darkest and most angst-y compositions. The song after it is "Flexible Flyer", a thought-provoking Grant Hart classic. My only guess is that "The Baby Song" is there for contrast. Like, I imagine that I'd appreciate air a lot more if I was forcefully drowned for 46 seconds between breaths. That's the only way it makes sense to me.

I can forgive Hüsker Dü though. For one, it's been over 25 years since this was recorded, and they say time heals all wounds. Also, I've read that Hüsker Dü had an unbelievable work ethic. Within about a year, they dropped three classic albums, including this one. I guess I just have to accept that they had reason for this.

"Makes No Sense At All" promo clip:

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