Larry Verne – Mr. Custer

First Hit #1: October 10, 1960

This is the worlds saddest novelty song. Verne is affecting a voice and trying to be funny as he sings about a soldier trying to get out of fighting in Battle of Little Big Horn. He’s had premonitions of being killed, and through the song there are even people getting killed around him. But, it’s played for laughs rather than the inherent sadness of the idea. The subject matter is inherently not very funny, and none of the jokes really work, but it’s compelling in its tragedy and the misguided attempt at humor. It’s somewhat rare that a song’s value is completely opposite of what the creator intended, but here’s a comedy track that sounds, above all, incredibly sad. It’s the gallows humor, as the character in the song is about to be so very killed, and the fact that it’s trying so hard to be funny makes it somehow worse.

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