A scary thought: building a musical Frankenstein’s monster

With the musical “Young Frankenstein” coming to town after the holidays,  it seems an appropriate time to roll out one of my admittedly more offbeat ideas. But it’s one that may appeal to some of the musically inclined unorthodox “amateur scientists” among our readers.

Your task, should you choose to accept it: Build your own musical Frankenstein’s monster out of song titles that mention different body parts.

I even have a nice prize for the entrant who comes up with what my MinnPost colleagues and I judge to be the most creative musical monster mash-up: food treats from the Red Stag restaurant in Minneapolis.

In the comment area below, you can assemble a musical monster made up of at least five “body part” songs. You can see samples from my more elaborate creation below. The deadline for entries is noon Wednesday, Dec. 16.

You’ve got lots of material to choose from. For a monster consisting of only five songs, there must be jillions of combinations. And there must be bajillions of possible combinations for anyone as crazed as me who builds a musical monster as detailed (but G-rated) as mine.

Is there any math expert out there who cares to calculate the possibilities from these monstrous estimates: I’d guess there must be at least 50 song titles that include the word “head,” another 50 that mention “eyes,” probably 100 with the word “heart” and at least 200 other song titles that mention assorted body parts.

And, of course, there are some songs that offer multiple body parts — I could think of four twofers and even a “four-fer,” but alas, no “three-fer.” Any reader have a suggested “three-fer”? Here’s what I found:

• Four twofers: Paul Anka’s “Put Your Head on My Shoulders,” Brenda Lee’s Heart in Hand and lots of versions of Heart and Soul and Body and Soul.”
• And one four-fer: The Wiggles’ Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

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So, as we get ready for the “Young Frankenstein” musical’s arrival and celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Mel Brooks film, take a gander at the musical monster I’ve assembled from head to toe. (The body parts are listed in alphabetical order by section.)

Head
• The Serendipity Singers’ “Beans in My Ears
• “Cheek to Cheek” (Check out this video clip of Desi’s charming rendition — and Lucy’s love-struck look — from the “I Love Lucy” show.)

• The Flamingos’ magnificent “I Only Have Eyes for You”
• The marvelous Nancy Wilson’s Face It Girl, It’s Over”
•The Cowsills with the title song from the musical “Hair”
• Little Anthony and the Imperials’ “Goin’ Out of My Head
• Ruth Brown’s “Lucky Lips
• We Five’s “You Were on My Mind.” (I couldn’t find a “normal” brain song, so this was the closest I could come.)
• Elvis’ “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
• And Johnny Crawford’s “Your Nose Is Gonna Grow.”

Body
• Mel & Tim’s Backfield in Motion” 
• The O’Jays’ Back Stabbers”
• Allan Sherman’s “I See Bones,” a clever takeoff on “C’est Si Bon”
• The Bellamy Brothers’ “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me?)”
Heart,” from “Damn Yankees”
• The Temptations’ “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep”
• The T-Bones’ “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach‘s In)” which started out as a classic commercial for Alka-Seltzer.
• And Raymond Lefevre’s stirring Soul Coaxing (Ame Caline).”

Extremities
• Hot’s “Angel in Your Arms
• Little Stevie Wonder’s Fingertips, Part 2″
• Kermit the Frog’s “Happy Feet
• The Johnny Otis Show’s “Willie and the Hand Jive”
• Joe Tex’s “Skinny Legs and All”
• The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb
• And the Harden Trio’s “Tippy Toeing.”

What better way to wrap up this crazy idea than with the classic insanity scene from the 1931 film “Frankenstein”  — and the electrifying line “It’s alive.”

… And a Body Parts ‘extra’
There’s no music involved in this one, but in my extensive research, I came across a family favorite — a familiar Laurel and Hardy movie clip too good to pass up. The scene shows the two of them playing a spirited game of Kneesy Earsy Nosey — a maneuver that, decades ago, prompted my brother Dave and I to have marathon competitions. (For the record, it’s even harder than it looks, particularly the advanced maneuvers.)

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Cory Funk on 12/11/2009 - 03:10 pm.

    This is all sorts of fun to do!

    Eyes of a Stranger – Queensryche
    Arms of Mary – Leo Kottke
    Heart of the Hustler – Thunderball
    My Spine – Fluke
    Drop Dead Legs – Van Halen.

  2. Submitted by Amira Holden on 12/12/2009 - 08:50 pm.

    “I Bought A Headache” – Replacements
    “Hide Nor Hair” – Ray Charles
    “Pale Blue Eyes” – Velvet Underground
    “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins
    “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” – Al Green
    “Fat Bottomed Girls” – Queen
    “Knocks Me Off My Feet” – Stevie Wonder

  3. Submitted by Kevin Sweeney on 12/14/2009 - 11:56 am.

    There’s a rich vein of body parts in country music. Homer & Jethro fans will remember:
    “Mama get the Hammer (There’s a fly on Papa’s Head)”
    “I’ve got Tears in My Ears from Lying On My Back In My Bed While I Cry Over You”
    “I Can’t Tell My Heart (From My Liver)”
    “She Made Toothpicks of the Timber of My Heart”
    Also:
    “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mothers” – Jerry Jeff Walker
    “She’s Got Legs” – ZZ Topp
    “I Like Big Butts” – Sir Mix-a-lot
    “Your Brains Will Fall Out” – (a song Soupy Sales used to do on “Lunch with Soupy”)
    “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” – Tiny Tim
    For everything else there’s
    “All of Me” — Louie Armstrong

  4. Submitted by Fiona Quick on 12/14/2009 - 02:04 pm.

    Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
    Footloose – Kenny Loggins
    Head over Heels – Go Go’s
    Rattle My Bones – The Suburbs
    Tush – ZZ Top
    Hooker with a Penis – Tool
    Cheatin Heart – Patti Loveless
    Molly’s Lips – Nirvana
    Shot in the Arm – Wilco
    Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths
    Sugar on my Tongue – Talking Heads
    Hot Legs – Rod Stewart
    Sister Goldenhair – America
    Crooked Teeth – Death Cab for Cutie
    I sing the Body Electric – Irene Cara et al
    Twinkle Toes – Roy Orbison
    Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey
    Live in Skin – Foo Fighters
    Under my Thumb – Rolling Stones
    Looking over my Shoulder – Elliott Smith
    Cold Brains – Beck
    Pancreas – Weird Al Yankovic
    My Iron Lung – Radiohead
    Kidney Bingo – Wire
    Bad Liver & a Broken Heart – Tom Waits

    If the Frankenstein is Bride of Frankenstein, then Ovary Eyes by Lambchop would work.

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