Song Of The Day 9/9/2013: Herbert Chappell - "The Gonk"

Herbert Chappell was a composer for British television who wrote the impish instrumental "The Gonk" in 1965. Featuring a strange but pert melody on trumpet, restated later on xylophone, it sounds like music to accompany dancing spider monkeys. Fans of George A. Romero's Dead series of course recognize "The Gonk" as a primary piece of incidental music from Dawn Of the Dead. It was also played, with some DJ scratches, in the closing credits of the parody Shaun Of the Dead. It's one of the first songs I sang to my daughter Lucie, who found it funny. Finally I just heard this omnipresent tune on some kind of commercial a few minutes ago (I think it was for beer). It's got this curious, geeky, spunky appeal to it, kind of like the theme song to Curb Your Enthusiasm. It also brings to mind the curiously uplifting military march counter-intuitively inserted in the most methodically disgusting scene from Herschell Gordon Lewis' The Gore Gore Girls. If you haven't heard "The Gonk" yet, you're about to hear it for the rest of your life.

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