They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!

Made it to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 popular music singles chart on August 13, 1966. But according to Wikipedia:

"They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" has the distinction of being the song to drop the farthest within the Top 40 in a single week. It charted for six weeks during 1966. In week four, it peaked at #3, scored #5 in week five, and fell to #37 in week six. This was because radio programmers removed the song from their playlists, fearing anger from people who might think it was ridiculing the mentally ill.

The flip side of the single had the same song played backwards.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 04, 2018
     Category: Music | 1960s

Not to mention being a perennial favorite on the Dr. Demento show.
Posted by mjbird on 09/04/18 at 06:45 AM
There is also another interesting fact that I'd read once about the song. Because songs 'sung' to music were vulnerable to having covers made of them by copyright law, the 'singer' refused to actually sing it, instead just talking through it, so that it couldn't merely be copied by someone else.
Posted by Alassirana on 09/04/18 at 07:14 AM
I'm not sure where I read it, only that I did. And, unfortunately, the only logical source I could try to look at (the back of my demento album containing the song) is rather beyond easy reach (it's in a metal shelving unit stuck between the wall, couch, and cat-litter box). I just am fairly certain that I'd ready something along those lines at one time. My memory does weird things, but that does not necessarily mean I didn't read it, only that I no longer have the source for the statement.
Posted by Alassirana on 09/04/18 at 08:10 AM
Don't forget that "unforgetable" song that was from about the same time: "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvus.
Posted by JohnD on 09/04/18 at 08:26 AM
Swedish version:
Posted by Trikarn on 09/04/18 at 09:59 AM
In any case, he clearly is singing. It's called parlando: using the rhythmic and sentence structure of speaking, but on a melody. For example, the last word before the chorus - "mind", the first time 'round - is a whole note higher than the previous words, and "and" itself is a note lower. It's much more common in opera and other kinds of musical theatre - all those dialogues to get through, you see, you can't have them all repeated half a dozen times.
Posted by Richard Bos on 09/09/18 at 04:54 AM
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