Things That Make You Think

Apr 19 2015 Published by under Wackaloonacy

On my way to the hospital today, I heard the Top 40 Hits of this week in 1973. For you youngsters, the Top 40 involved the sales of small vinyl records with 1 song you wanted on one side and something completely random on the other. These small discs turned at 45 revolutions per minute and were often called 45's or singles. Based on sales, they ranked the top songs in the US.

Somewhere in the middle of the pack was the song, Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road :

This begs two questions:

  1. Why would anyone write this song?
  2. How did it make the Top 40?

Thanks to the power of the internet (and Wikipedia), we can answer question 1:

The lyrics describe a dead skunk in the middle of a busy road and the smell it produces for pedestrians. Wainwright said the song was an accident, written in 15 minutes

Question 2 may forever remain a mystery, although I feel it must be a testimony to the economic power of 12-15 year-old boys at the time.

3 responses so far

  • Scott Belyea says:

    Well, for youngsters like you, you should know that singles came on big black things called "78s", which rotated at ... don't get ahead of me here ... 78 revolutions per minute! I only recall one that I bought - Tom Dooley by (who else?) The Kingston Trio. Side 2? I have no idea.

    As far as anyone who doesn't get the existential angst and gut appeal of Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road, what can I say? I guess you either get it or you don't ...

  • becca says:

    As my father would say "Ah, 'twas a simpler time"

Leave a Reply