Song of the Day: Spaghetti (Twist and Twirl) - Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer with Brave Combo

I heard "Spaghetti (Twist and Twirl)" today and I remembered how much I like the song.

So much so, that I've decided to start a "Song of the Day" series -- we'll see how long it stays "Song of the Day" before it becomes "Song of the Week" or "Song of the Lunar Cycle" -- and inaugurate it with this song.

To call Brave Combo a "polka band" seems to sell them short a bit -- they are a whirlwind of musical energy. Paired up with long-time children's music artists Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, their 2001 album All Wound Up! is a bundle of enthusiasm and lots of fun. Without a doubt, though, the standout track is the penultimate song, "Spaghetti (Twist and Twirl)." The song is about a chef at an Italian restaurant and his frustration with the kids who want nothing more from his talents than plain old spaghetti. Lyrically, it's amusing to the adults and empowering to the kids, who can sing "Spaghetti!" or "Twist and Twirl!"

But it's musically that this song really gets me. Its energy is infectious -- it's great for dancing foolishly with your kids. And sonically... for most of the song it's the bass line with the melody above it, a different melody each for the verses and the chorus and the bridge, and then near the end they sing the chorus and the bridge simultaneously. To top it all off, at the very end they add a fourth musical line out of nowhere but that fits perfectly.

Really, it reminds me of the New Pornographers' "The Laws Have Changed," one of my favorite songs, in the overlayering of musical themes. A whole album of songs like that would just leave me incapacitated for days afterward. It's best taken in limited doses.

You can hear a snippet of "Spaghetti (Twist and Twirl)" here. Links to audio and video of "The Laws Have Changed" are here.