August 14, 2008 4:14 PM

How many times have you asked yourself, "Where are all the jazz tunes about squid?"

You'll no longer know diddly
about things which are squidly.
In fact, you'll know more
than ever before
though the lyrics go by quite rapidly.

And for the purposes of a kids' song, cephalopods count as water bugs.

posted by lothar (20 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

How many times? Seventeen. I've asked myself that question seventeen times.

And it's a relief to know that I'll never have to ask it again.

This is a wonderful thing, lothar, a wonderful thing. Think you could print the lyrics in their entirety here for us?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:12 PM on August 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would you like to meet a cephalopod?
You know that they have larger brains than scallops, clams, or gastropods.
Primarily they are jet propelled,
Their mantle's where water's expelled.
Hemocyanin replaces hemoglobin blood.

Would you like to eat a cephalopod?
There's octopus, cuttlefish and squid's known as calamari too.
They hunt their prey, you know that makes them carnivores.
and colors change, so they're chromatophores.
Cunning predators
smarter than the average dog.

Would you like to meet my cephalopod?
There are approximately two hundred kinds of octopus alone
Nautilus shells are planispherical
so they are bilaterally symmetrical.
you know, In contrast conispheral shells are not.

Would you like to study cephalopods?
teuthology is a branch of science split from malacology
Their lack of myelin makes their nerves grow big
neurophysiologists will dance a jig.
fascinating fauna which taste good in stew.
posted by lothar at 5:38 PM on August 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

B'dum-dum-dum-dum, d'doo-d'dum-dum-dum... This is great.

Frankly, though, I'd rather not meet your cephalopod, if that's okay.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:32 PM on August 14, 2008

This kicks ass. You should play it wearing this.

This question may reveal the holes in my knowledge of jazz, but: Did you make up and play the music too, or just write the lyrics and sing over an existing recording?
posted by umbĂș at 6:58 PM on August 14, 2008

And my wife just said: "Really? They don't have myelin? I didn't know that!"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:41 PM on August 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

This original tune was written by someone else in my band.
As the instrumental it usually is, it has a different title.
But when humming it to myself, I kept accidentally saying "cephalopod" on the downbeat.

Here's the (nasty nasty) changes, solo away:
||: F- | C7 | Eb+ | Ab-9 | Db- | C-7 | E-11 D7b9 | Gmaj7 :||
posted by lothar at 7:47 PM on August 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

That was a beautiful thing. I had my hands clamped over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud while I was supposed to be working.
posted by lekvar at 7:37 PM on August 15, 2008

God, so nerdy with the fish lyrics.
Ya, I just laughed out loud and it's very late and people are sleeping.
This is so good. I really love it.
posted by chococat at 12:10 AM on August 16, 2008

Now that I have heard it, I realize that cephalopods are a quite natural subject for jazz, and am confused about why this subject has never been addressed by the genre before.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:17 AM on August 16, 2008

Oh, it's been handled before, AZ. Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful 'Pod," Miles Davis' "Sketches of Squid," the tangentially related "Porgy and Bass."
posted by lekvar at 3:38 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

And hey, let's not forget jazz standards like "Stella By Starfish", "I Can't Give You Anything But Loach" and "Body and Sole". Plus, of course, there's Bill Frisell's jazzed-up cover of the Madonna hit "Like a Sturgeon".

Oh, and "Green Dolphin Street" was always one of my fave tunes from Eric Dolphy.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:25 PM on August 19, 2008

More? You bet!

* It Ain't Necessarily Sole
* The Lady is a Trout
* Night and Dace
* Gar Bless The Child
* The Night Has a Thousand Icefish
* It's Only a Paper Moonfish
* Mack the Knifefish
* My Melancholy Barbel

I know there's more...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:38 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

Ah! Of course! There's...

* Softly, As In a Morning Sunfish
* Someday My Piranha Will Come
* You Make Me Eel So Young
* Come Rain or Come Shark
* How Long Has This Been Golden Trout

Then, the blues... you've got BB King's classic...

*The Krill Is Gone
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:51 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

This swings. Tail.
posted by AppleSeed at 4:53 AM on August 20, 2008

Aiiighh. It hurts, flapjax.
posted by umbĂș at 11:57 AM on August 26, 2008

Adding this to the Tune of Fish sidebar of my site. Thanks!

Other great cephalopod crooners include: Carne Cruda, Jonathan Coulton and Kevin Zenio. Also, if anyone can play the penny whistle, here's a diddy about Amphioxus.
posted by cephalopodcast at 6:35 AM on November 9, 2008

Awesome, awesome song. I love how ballsy you are to try and sing 'cephalopod' more than once.. Fantastic.
posted by eurasian at 12:28 AM on December 2, 2008

I'd just like to let you know - this song, for whatever reason, has been stuck in my head for three days now. I just can't shake it. Good thing I like it so much. (I just wish my co-workers would stop staring at me while I'm mumbling "cephalopod" over and over.)
posted by Kimothy at 11:45 PM on January 10, 2009

This is SO well executed. Nice job.
posted by not_on_display at 5:16 PM on June 3, 2011

That riff (clarinet? sax? I dunno) when he says "cephalopod" sells me on the whole song. Between that and "Birdman," I've decided that I need a jazz band to punctuate everything I say and do.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:38 PM on March 13, 2015

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