Top 10 + 1 | '90s Novelty Songs

Didn't we just love (or love to hate) a good (or bad) novelty song in the '90s!?

Defining the parameters of what constitutes a novelty song is inherently problematic. They were either so bad you couldn't help but love them, or they were kinda good for really bizarre & embarrassing reasons - meaning you had to hide the shame of your love for that dirty little ditty.

But there's no shame here at Double Denim Days - she says as an all encompassing disclaimer for what's about to go down. Some of these tunes I can dig. Some of these tunes make me want to wear continental cucumbers as earbuds. I'd like to say this list is based solely on merit - the criteria of which being how successful they were in permeating popular culture. But in all honesty, this list conforms to no logical order. It is what it is.

#10. Los Del Rio - Macarena (1993)

A favourite with blue light disco DJs worldwide. I'm sure this song evokes happy memories for some, but not so much for this little black duck. I absolutely HATED this song, and I still do. I don't like hearing the Macarena on the dance floor; I don't like watching the Macarena on the dancefloor; I don't like doing the Macarena on the dancefloor. The Macarena is not. what. I. do.


#9. Cartoons DK | Doo Dah! (1998)

I feel like this song would serve as a very effective torture/interrogation tool. There's really nothing 'novel' about it. I really struggle with the knowledge that people actually walked into their local HMV music stores and handed their hard-earned wigwams across the counter in exchange for a CD with this song on it, so they could listen to it. Voluntarily.


#8. Partners In Kryme - Turtle Power (1990)

Let's pause for a moment to fully appreciate Partners In Krymes' creative play on the word crime. This song is actually pretty funky, and who didn't love themselves a piece of those kryme-fighting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the day? Bad guys beware. Kryme never pays when TMNT are around.


#7. Aqua - Barbie Girl

How very... kitsch.

The bald dude is definitely my favourite thing about this music video. He seems to have a definite sense that what he's doing is ridiculous. I really like that kind of acute self-realisation in a man. I am single.


#6. Grandmaster Chicken & DJ Duck - Check Out The Chicken (1991)

I was super excited to find this little gem. For years now I've been randomly launching (tourettes-like) into 'Chicken! Check out the chicken! Chicken!' & the origin has always perplexed me. I'd completely forgotten about Grandmaster Chicken & DJ Duck. Good working order has been restored to my world.


#5. The Simpsons - Do The Bartman (1990)

The Simpsons had just cracked the big time, and the popularity of novelty songs was about to hit an all-time high. Some would say the time was ripe for Bart Simpson to release a single.  Everyone else would just be a little hard up for pop culture acumen.


#4. Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart (1992)

That mullet.

'Nuff said.


#3. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This (1990)

It's kind of impossible NOT to groove along to Hammer. Personally, when I hear this song I find myself possessed by the spirit of a black rapper. I get very attitude-y. I am terribly fly. Also, 4 words: Hammer + Pants + Shoulder + Pads


#2. Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy (1991)

Will I ever know if Right Said Fred were being legit with this song? Do I even want to know? I could go and look it up I suppose, now that we have that thing called Google - but some things are better just left to linger softly in time & space. Those blokes were built like brick shithouses though!


1. Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (1991)

How can you not love the whitest rapper in musical history? I've made it my personal mission to learn all the lyrics of Ice Ice Baby. I'm particularly in tune (spiritually-speaking) with the lyrics 'word to ya mother' & 'ice ice baby too cold, too cold'. There's some lyrical genius at play here.


+ 1. Pauline Pantsdown - I Don't Like It (1998)

Our +1 today is an easter egg bonus for Australians. A hilarious jibe at controversial 'politician' Pauline Hanson, lyrics like 'My shopping trolley murdered, my groceries just gone' crack me up every time. The easiest way I can describe Pauline to the rest of the world:  female Donald Trump.


Are we still friends after all that? I've taken a really big risk resurfacing some of these tunes - there's nothing worse than finding yourself with an uninvited/unwelcome ear-worm.

Did we miss anyone's favourite (or non-favourite) novelty song from the '90s? Before you answer that, please note that yes, we have chosen to overlook Detachable Penis. We do have limits, people. Boundaries & limits.

And the REALLY crazy thing about novelty songs in the '90s? We were so blissfully unaware that the new millennium would bring us Crazy Frog.