Friday Five: Disneyland

Ken Morton, Jr. | November 8th, 2013

Just as it was when we tackled a Friday Five about the Country Bear Jamboree back in 2011, Disneyland is on the mind of this Engine 145 writer, who is probably waiting in the “It’s a Small World” line with his kids as you’re reading this. The title of “Happiest Place on Earth” goes to this expensive oasis in Anaheim, California, which has been referenced in many songs since the park opened in 1955.

5. Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry – “Little Green Apples”

“And there’s no such thing as Doctor Seuss or Disneyland, and Mother Goose, no nursery rhyme.”

This song, which was penned by Bobby Russell (who won Song of the Year and Best Country Song Grammy Awards for it)), has been recorded by Roger Miller, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, to name just a few. These two recorded it in 1968 for Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell.

 

4. Jimmy Buffett – “Pencil Thin Mustache”

Frequently played at Buffett’s concerts, the nostalgic “Pencil Thin Mustache,” released in 1974, salutes Disneyland, Errol Flynn, Brylcreem, and lots more.

 

3. Robert Earl Keen – “What I Really Mean”

Life is just an endless spinning tea cup ride without the one you love. “Tonight we’re in the city, and it’s like Disneyland / But I’m sick and tired and I can’t wait to get back home again / And I have this dream… you’ll be waitin’ there, what I really mean… I wish you were here.”

 

2. Phil Ochs – “Ballad of William Worthy”

Ochs tells the story of journalism and activist William Worthy, who traveled to Cuba in the early 1960s despite the State Department’s regulations. He then advises, “T the list grows larger you must try to understand / Try hard not to be surprised if someday you should hear / The whole world is off limits, visit Disneyland this year.”

 

1. CW McCall – “Audubon” 

McCall salutes his hometown of Audubon, Iowa, in this song, which topped out at #56 in 1977. Sounds like the town had some pretty interesting characters: “Now Mavis had all of her ducks in a row /  Weighed 98 pounds, put on quite a show…Not a hell of a lot upstairs, but from there on down, Disneyland!”

  1. Henry
    November 8, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Would have to add Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” to this list, even though it’s neither a country song nor a song that mentions Disneyland explicitly; the song does, however, convey exactly what happened when Disney mowed down paradise in Central Florida to build Disney World. Nothing paradiscal about that place now, but it is one giant parking lot from Daytona to Lakeland.

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